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Yankee Panky #4: Unlucky 7
2007-04-12 08:56
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

By Will Weiss
Bronx Banter Correspondent

We're at the point in time where the media's day-to-day coverage includes unnecessary game stories, the occasional feature, the building up of a player who's succeeding, thereby setting up the inevitable fall, and of course, injury updates. On YES, every game will be treated as if it's Game 7. On radio, John Sterling will tell stories and occasionally mention what's going on in front of him as it pertains to the broadcast. Standard-issue stuff that tells us the season has started. And judging from posts on this site and others, ESPN's Red Sox love/anti-Yankee tilt is in midseason form.

I wanted nothing to do with that this week. The Mets dominated the back pages while the Yankees' performance – save for A-Rod's game-winning grand slam on Saturday – relegated them to "other team" status.

I was struck by a different story. Three friends, my wife and my mother sent me an article about a New Jersey math professor named Bruce Bukiet, who developed a formula projecting winners and losers in the major leagues, based on teams' starting lineups. Not surprisingly, the computer spit out a 110-win season and a 10th consecutive AL East title for the Yankees. The formula is essentially a means to help gamblers, and the article says as much. It even points to Bukiet's "detailed projections" on a corresponding gambling site.

I enjoyed this paragraph near the top of the piece:

"So far, Bukiet is on track. The Yankees won their season opener against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Monday."

(My editorial reflex would have eliminated that graph, considering that the next section details the formula. Plus, basing a 110-win season on a comeback win over the Devil Rays is as convincing as projecting Daisuke Matsuzaka will win the AL Rookie of the Year, Cy Young Award and Triple Crown because he stifled the Royals in his Major League debut. Oh, wait...)

Sentences like that occur in many places, and as a reader and a fan, it's a bit off-putting. When I read lines like that, I begin questioning the writer's credibility. How do you, as fans and readers, react to that? Does it bother you? Do you let it go? How about if you hear announcers trip over themselves or say something off-base on the air? What do you do then?

As for the Yankees, two stories emerged: the first was Alex Rodriguez's 6 HR, 16 RBI explosion in the first seven games. The other was the starting rotation's inability to go deep into games. Already, Luis Vizcaino and Scott Proctor are on pace for appearance numbers in the Mike Marshall range. (I'd include Kyle Farnsworth in the discussion, but since he can't pitch on back-to-back days, he should be in the 60-70 range.)

I'm not going to spend too much time analyzing the coverage. But the two developments have made me curious how long it will take before the following commentaries – fair or unfair -- are written:

1) A-Rod has won over the New York fans. (This is a complete lie – although the fans have supported him and he's responded.)

2) He's living up to MVP expectations. Through seven games, he is the clear-cut MVP.

3) The cynical point of view: A-Rod's success is derived from his desire to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract and become a free agent. A story could come out noting that A-Rod said that he will not exercise the opt-out clause, refer to the WFAN interview where he said he wants to finish his career as a Yankee, but a "source close to A-Rod" says otherwise. Going through the annals of players in walk years or in similar stages of their contracts putting up career numbers, the idea doesn't seem impossible.

What I'm most curious about with A-Rod is his quotes and how they will shape his entire being this season. If he says he's all about winning, will he say the right things when the team loses and he goes 3-for-5 with two home runs and 4 RBIs? Will he say he's just happy the team won when he goes 0-for-4 with two Ks, leaves three runners in scoring position and commits an error in the field? Or will he come off as being selfish, as he has in the past?

PITCHING STAFF

1) Now that Mike Mussina has joined Chien-Ming Wang and Hideki Matsui in the "We bought Rickey Henderson's hamstrings on eBay" club, how long before the Roger Clemens talk becomes superheated? From a baseball perspective, the dearth of reliable starters almost makes acquiring Clemens a necessity for the Yankees. But pundits claiming he'll be a Yankee for certain are wrong. Clemens has said he won't make a decision until May. The Yankees may not be able to afford waiting that long to act. Clemens is monitoring the Yankees and the Red Sox closely – I don't know this to be fact, but covering him and knowing his competitiveness and mercenary nature, it's a strong educated guess – and he may look at the Yankees' situation and say, "I might not be enough to get these guys over the top. The Red Sox are a sure thing, and they'll let me be here on my terms."

Calling up Phil Hughes may be the better option, but he only went five innings in his first start at Scranton, and the Yankees are insistent upon bringing him along slowly. Hughes is the "Yellow Ledbetter" to Clemens' "Jeremy" in this conundrum.

2) If Kei Igawa's ERA rises to 15.00 or higher after Friday's start, you can almost guarantee the word "bust" appearing in the blogosphere and numerous mainstream outlets, and some venomous chatter coming from the Sons of Sam Horn and other assorted Red Sox boards. Maybe even from Curt Schilling. He's not above stoking the fire and hyping the first Yanks-Sox series a few weeks early.

Keep an eye out for these stories – if I'm right, I promise not to write an "I told you so" column.

Until next week …

Comments (67)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-04-12 09:27:56
1.   Max Nomad
"Or will he come off as being selfish, as he has in the past?"

That's not a fair comment. The contract is one thing, but I think Alex genuinely cares about winning more than money.

"Calling up Phil Hughes may be the better option, but he only went five innings in his first start at Scranton, and the Yankees are insistent upon bringing him along slowly."

Hughes is on a strict 5 inning or 80-pitch (roughly) count, as he was at the end of last year. This is so he doesn't get overworked, and maybe so he can pitch "real" games for the Yanks and still stay under 180 innings for the year, including the postseason. There was a great Banter article a while back that showed the calculations the Yanks could take to ensure he is in the big leagues and still stays under 180.

2007-04-12 09:29:44
2.   Jim Dean
My question: How long before the media starts questioning whether Jeter should be playing SS?

This year?

Next year?

Three years?

Never?

Me, I'm not saying his due date has expired. Just that he looked alot better going back last night than his range on the ground.

2007-04-12 09:41:40
3.   markp
I agree that DJ's time at SS has passed the expiration date.

I think it's funny how until Arod arrived, the baseball writers kept nominating any SS with a hot 6 weeks as being "better than Jeter, who's a product of the NY hype machine" (including Guzman and especially Vizquel), but since then they've reversed field and given him gold gloves and never-ending praise as the indispensable Yankee.

2007-04-12 09:42:52
4.   jkay
Igawa could become the next fat puss-y toad.

Mussina is jaking it.

2007-04-12 09:44:52
5.   Max Nomad
Anyone catch Chase Wright's AA line last night?

7.0 IP
1 H
1 BB
10 SO

2007-04-12 09:46:25
6.   vockins
This is barely appropriate, but I just got finished getting the Fujifilm $5x7 pack on Ticketmaster. That crap is going to give me a heart attack. It's like watching the chase scene in French Connection except there's just progress bars and error messages. "You must complete the transaction in three minutes or your tickets will be released and a nuclear warhead will be detonated somewhere over the eastern seaboard."

Word to the wise, if you think you know your ticketmaster pw, you don't. The one I used in March to purchase a single game seat got changed to some randomly generated pw. Got locked out. Fortunately my buddy was on the case.

2007-04-12 09:48:02
7.   murphy
i love reading about the yankee's pitching in terms of the pearl jam catlogue.

very nice.

2007-04-12 10:00:47
8.   ChuckM
I ALWAYS hated the "on pace for" stats they idiot writers started throwing out in their articles after like 3 games. It insults both my common sense and my math skills at the same time. Part of the reason I enjoy fantasy baseball over football (aside from the obvious) is that things tends to normalize somewhat over the course of a season with the exceptions of inury/age, etc. I'm not gonna be all that concerned if Giambi isn't off the interstate after 5 games because he's still too good of a hiter for that to happen, and for a writer to say he's "on pace for 80 hits this year" means I just lost 5 minutes of my life that I'll never get back because I read that article...
2007-04-12 10:12:17
9.   Zack
And its great to see that the second time through the rotation all of those rediculous "based on week 1" articles by people like Heymen at si.com are being shown to be as stupid as we know they are. Great start by Oliver Perez last night heymen, he's really bck and ready to be a force. And clearly that save by Papelbon in Texas was "the seminal moment" of the Sox season Gammons...

And so, for Igawa, give him a few starts. He's gonna need some time, but I wouldn't call him a "bust" after three starts. Yankees fans seem to already be down on him somehow, considering his treatment at the stadium in start#1, perhaps people somehow still want to compare him to DM, but that makes no sense. Its like comparing Jeff Karstens to Hughes simply because they are both in the minors and come from the same country.

2007-04-12 10:28:04
10.   rbj
"3) The cynical point of view"
Steve Lombardi over at WasWatching is already indulging in that. It is asinine.
2007-04-12 11:33:11
11.   NetShrine
10 thanks?
2007-04-12 11:42:16
12.   Schteeve
Lombardi should change the name of his blog to "Fire Alex Rodriguez."
2007-04-12 11:48:34
13.   ny2ca2dc
12 or "See! See! I said it all along! Really, really, look!"
2007-04-12 11:49:04
14.   Orly Yarly NoWai
9 I agree with everything you said except this: "And clearly that save by Papelbon in Texas was "the seminal moment" of the Sox season Gammons..."

I must admit that I have an enormous man-crush on Peter Gammons, so I really think that the hyperbole there is ESPN's fault, not his. Also, I think you kinda have to read that like you would if you were reading Latin, where superlatives basically just mean "very." (THE BEST actually means very good, and suchlike.) I DO think it was important that Francona brought Papelbon in during the 8th, not for the actual move but for the mindset it implies.

Comparing Heyman and Gammons is ridiculous (not that you did) for that reason. Gammons is talking about proper bullpen management and not trusting Jo-el Pineiro, while Heyman is just kinda talking.

I wholeheartedly agree RE: Igawa.

2007-04-12 12:18:08
15.   rbj
11 you're welcome?
2007-04-12 13:00:48
16.   sam2175
Disclaimer: This is not about Will, who says that he would be curious about how Rodriguez's comments are likely to "shape his entire being".

But from the NY press' POV, how about the "curiosity" being diverted to his actual performances on the field, and what might be causing them, rather than focusing on the tabloid style "let's overanalyze each word that comes out of this guy's mouth and pass a judgment"? Who really cares if the guy is a selfish SOB deep down? Right, journalists.

Bottom line, his talent and production helps win baseball games, not his personality (which, available evidence indicates, is just fine, he is just not the most diplomatic talker). We forget that too often.

2007-04-12 13:11:25
17.   BklynBmr
Quick story: Just got a call from a buddy — "I'm on the third hole out here at the Presidio (local golf course), playing behind Bowa, Guidry, and few other guys".

(My bud is Tiger fan from Detroit, now living here in S.F. Just for fun, he and I recently discussed trading the Yanks and Tigers starting rotations straight up...)

He introduces himself to Bowa, and tells him about our conversation. Bowa laughs and replies "Hell, we'd win by 30 games"...

I'm waiting for a full report after 18 holes...

2007-04-12 13:43:04
18.   yankz
I think it is important to mention that Grady Sizemore is a freak.
2007-04-12 14:00:00
19.   WillWeiss
In response to sam2175, what I meant to say was how his comments will shape the rest of this season and his future as a Yankee. The way I wrote it was incorrect, and I apologize. ... To qualify it further, my curiosity regarding his quotes and demeanor is directly related to his performance on the field. ... There was a time last July when the team was in Toronto and he made an errant throw to home and later in the same game, struck out with a runner on base, only to have Jorge Posada hit a home run behind him. The cameras featured A-Rod in the dugout with a look on his face that said, "That should have been me." That's the kind of stuff I'm referring to. ... As for his presentation, any time you open your mouth or put something in print, you subject yourself to judgment. Because he's a public figure and has as many trappings as he does, he's subjected to a higher degree of scrutiny.
2007-04-12 14:10:00
20.   Bama Yankee
17 Good stuff, Bklyn.

Would we have to take the Gambler in that deal or could we just let Detroit keep him?
;-)

2007-04-12 14:37:03
21.   BklynBmr
20 I'd take him, then trade him right away — (since we're daydreaming) for Santana ;-)
2007-04-12 14:43:04
22.   Zack
14 I refuse to pay for ESPn Insider, so I didn't read the whole article, so I should have prefeced with that. I like Gammons too, i am just fed up with ESPN's constant Sox coverage...
2007-04-12 15:34:24
23.   standuptriple
17 Nice report. I love playing @ Presidio. There's no water hazards. Can you imagine Bowa after a nasty slice?
2007-04-12 16:58:58
24.   Zack
In case anyone is checking in and in need of some baseball, Phil Hughes is pitching tonight in SWB against Richmond. So far 3 IP, 1h, 0R, 0BB (though also 0K oddly. I'm keeping in the background on minor league gameday...
2007-04-12 17:16:04
25.   Zack
Looks like I jinxed him, not so stellar 4th inning: single (cought stealing), single, walk, double. 2 runs in. Can't seem to put the guys away (thus the no k's). Hughes certainly hasn't hit his form yet this year, lets just chalk it up to cold weather, early starts, and level adjustment...
2007-04-12 17:44:30
26.   Shaun P
Hey, has anyone seen Chyll Will? At least twice today I expected to read his classic slow-day 'crickets' post, but nothing.

24 25 Don't blame yourself - how many of us are also watching now thanks you, Zach? We might all be at fault.

2007-04-12 18:03:31
27.   yankz
Hughes didn't pitch well at all :(
2007-04-12 18:48:57
28.   tommyl
27 Hughes has historically needed some time to adjust to each level when promoted. Last year he was awful the first few starts in Trenton and then went on a tear. I wouldn't worry just yet.
2007-04-12 18:51:07
29.   Chyll Will
26 Hah! Schweet, I'm missed. Sorry I haven't been around lately; I was working as a PA on a low-budget film. I checked in every now and then; most of you missed my birthday hints, but I'm not mad at ya (Thanks Bama and BklynBmr) I realized a long time ago that 3am is not a great time to post anything since the only one up at that time is yankz and there's nothing wrong with that, but he's kinda nutty at 3am, I don't know if I can keep up >;)

At any rate, I figure everyone's been gorging themselves on baseball after the long winter of endless puns and witty repartee; even Sliced turned serious before the first pitch was thrown. Time for me to scale back a bit and let the cool rhythms of baseball permeate the soul. Unfortunately, the only thing that's permeated me lately has been the wind chill, and I still have this damned cough. I'm looking for work again, so I'll likely be off the air for a little while until something comes up... no, that was not in reference to a certain newsworthy incident that I would gladly rant about, except this isn't quite the right place for it.

Hmm, that Help Wanted sign at Humbug looks pret-ty interesting...

27 C'mon, it's still early and rather cold, in fact. I don't expect that we'll be pitching in a deep freezer for the next six months, so relax. Besides that, we all expressed concerns about the starting pitching over the winter, so Opening Day doesn't change reality. We just have to be patient and see where things stand in two more weeks; odd that The Third Baseman!'s "Off" seasons are during even-years, but if the patterns persist, we should be at least into the second round this season. Yet, I'm willing to petrose right now that he's the difference maker this post-season.

Wowzers, between Shaun P and yankz' comments, it definitely is "crickets" tonight...

2007-04-12 18:55:56
30.   yankz
29 Haha. I need to get back on a normal sleeping schedule. Otherwise I occasionally post weird baseball YouTube videos at the wee hours.
2007-04-12 18:57:05
31.   yankz
Oh, and I'm not worried about Hughes either. Guess I'm getting spoiled and was expecting him to dominate quickly.

BTW, I've remembered today how much off days smoke.

2007-04-12 18:57:43
32.   yankz
Um...should read "how much off days suck." No idea how that happened; I don't even smoke.
2007-04-12 19:06:04
33.   Max Nomad
32 Well, smoking sucks, too, so maybe you're on to something? Remember back in the 80's and early 90's when anything cool was "boss." Maybe shitty things can smoke...
2007-04-12 19:15:00
34.   Chyll Will
(Psst... see what I mean?) >;)

Off-days are kinda cool because we get to tell stories. Usually Alex has something about the Golden Era of Hip Hop days of our youth that touches off some nice Banter. Like does anyone know that KRS-ONE is putting out a new album soon, produced by none other than Marley Marl? C'mon WillWeiss, you're dropping the ball, man! >;)

Speaking of KRS-ONE, I was supposed to watch Mets & Phillies at Shea tonight, but a family emergency came up, so I gave the tickets to some very grateful buddies of mine. Wow, and I remember when you couldn't give them away in a survey. Willie and Omar make all the difference...

2007-04-12 19:24:40
35.   Shaun P
34 Yeah, Willie and Omar (and all the talent the Mets have on hand) have sure turned that ship right side up. I just wish Willie would have stuck with Wright in the two-hole instead of LoDuca. Because Randolph was my favorite player as a kid, I keep hoping some of Manny Acta's sabermetric knowledge rubbed off on Willie, and thus make him even more 'perfect' in my eyes, but I havent' seen any evidence of it (yet). Not that I'm paying that close attention . . .

Just glad to know everything's good, CW.

30 One of these off days, I'll have to go look for some of your YouTube links, yankz. They sound like a great way to pass a Yankee game-free day! Sure beats watching the Sox on NESN. ;)

2007-04-12 19:25:25
36.   Orly Yarly NoWai
22 I don't have Insider either; I'm coming to my conclusions basically based on gut.

1) Gammons is a smart guy.
2) ESPN is not.
3) ESPN demands Sox-fellatiating.
4) ESPN uses too many superlatives.
5) Gammons works for ESPN.

He's a Sawx homer, but eh. He's realistic about it, I think.

2007-04-12 19:28:44
37.   Chyll Will
33 I wonder if standup can verify this, but in the early nineties in the Seattle area, anything cool was "swass." The word on the Streets was "dope", "hype" and "fresh", but I like today's "Off the Chain." Some would subsitute "Chain" with "Meat Rack" or "Hizzy", and some would substitute "Meat Rack" with "Pavano", but some people would be wrong. Not so much wrong in the since of 1+1=3 wrong, but the head-shaking "man, that's just wrong..." To me, it's still too early to tell, but he just might prove most of us wrong.
2007-04-12 19:40:25
38.   Chyll Will
35 If you've been subject to Torre's expert tutelage for so long, sabremetrics must seem like a long-acquired taste. Give him a few more years, if he has the gumption to balance the stats with his gut instincts, he and Omar will be the new Audio Two (Top Billin').

And thanks for caring, I'm handling life as it comes, but I can put a happy face on it and mean it, so that's swass...

2007-04-12 19:42:52
39.   Bama Yankee
29 Good to have you back, Chyll.

http://tinypic.com/2q0jdxi

2007-04-12 20:09:06
40.   sassy
Will, you accused Alex Rodriguez of being "selfish" - a pretty serious accusation. When called on it, you backed it up by analyzing his facial expression after Posada hit a homer after his strikeout last year. Dude, with all due respect, you're gonna have to show better evidence of selfishness for AROD than that. Please do, if you've got it.
2007-04-12 20:19:41
41.   Chyll Will
39 Hahahaah!!! That reminds me of my buddy and cut-up tape (music collage) bandmate, who composed this song on one of his joints as a tribute some years ago (with accompanying instrumental multi-track chorus and human beatbox):

"What-up Will...
your dreams were your ticket out (bwahdahduhduhdah)
What-up Will (bwah-owwwh)
you'da largest with cut-up tapes and that's no doubt...

Cut-Up City is the place
you be livin' at,
And I still think that one day
you'll be livin' phat...
cuz'you cool enough to do your thang,
(cool enough to do yo'thang)
plus he's down wit'da Wu-Tang!
(plus he's down wit'da Wu-Tang!)

Yeah, he pees a lot
cuz his Kool-Aid's kinda hot,
What-up, Will!
Whattup Will, whattup Will, what-up Will!"

and so-on... Thanks, Bama!

(WillWeiss, you can get in on this, too >;)

2007-04-12 20:23:47
42.   Chyll Will
Phat! I almost forgot phat!

I forget how many Wills there are around here, so I almost flinched when I saw what Sassy wrote, but I guess that's why everyone calls me Chyll, to eeeeease the pain...

2007-04-12 21:15:14
43.   Zack
Wow, you guys have been keeping up quite the late nite conversation, clearly y'all are west coasters like me...

I wouldn't worry about Phil either, though the no K's are somewhat offputting. I just want him to start dominating ASAP just so I don't worry about him more than I should...

I also really want to nab him in my fantasy league, but I can't until he's called up, at which point he goes on waivers, and I doubt I will get him at that point..sigh

2007-04-12 21:48:43
44.   Chyll Will
43 Who me? I'm in NYC, Da Bronx specifically. I have very weird hours sometimes. I just wanted to reassure you guys I was still around. But I posted some interesting thoughts on The Juice since I implied there was an issue I couldn't speak about here.

I've said for a while now that Phil should stay in Scranton for the beginning of the season, and I've felt the urge to yell at them to bring him up, but that's all it really is, an impulse. It would do neither of them any good to have him up here where he'd struggle a bit and people would get on his case almost immediately, a la Melky 2005. The kid has to come his own way, and I'd rather see him when he's ready as opposed to forcing him to be ready.

2007-04-12 22:00:58
45.   thelarmis
hey chyll,

i'm always up at 3am. it's only 1 now, but i'll certainly check in again in a few hours. i'm east coast, too, zack. just a nocturnal vampire.

i'm a professional musician for a living. i always tell folks i work the other 9-5! yeah, i wanted to chime in on the Latin music stuff at the Juice but didn't have time. i study the hell outta latin-jazz, afro-cuban stuff and it's awesome material!

hoping Quest kicks off a good weekend in Oaktown...

2007-04-12 22:04:30
46.   WillWeiss
Sassy, I wasn't called on writing that A-Rod was selfish, it was about how I wrote that his quotes and demeanor would shape how he's perceived, which is true. And from standing next to him in reporting situations and following his career, there have been plenty of times where he's come across as not a "team" guy. That's fine. It doesn't bother me, and from a lot of these posts, it doesn't bother you guys, either, and that's cool. But it does bother a lot of fans who still consider him the anti-Jeter and wish the Yankees had never traded for him. What Sassy said was correct; A-Rod isn't as diplomatic with the media as some other players, namely Jeter. As far as the stories go, I'm still trying to figure out items that are worthy of public consumption.
2007-04-12 22:09:38
47.   yankz
I'm east coast, and I'm still up.
2007-04-12 22:10:08
48.   WillWeiss
thelarmis ... I'm a musician also. The latin-jazz, afro-cuban stuff are some of my favorite styles to play on the drumkit. If you're ever in Oaktown, Yoshi's in Jack London Square is a pretty swank jazz club.
2007-04-12 22:12:13
49.   WillWeiss
Good posts all, and thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming, and keep listing any suggestions for items you want to see in this column. Like I've said before, this is your blog, too. ... Later.
2007-04-12 22:16:42
50.   yankz
Best I could find on short time today...apparently Melky's in there somewhere:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=06mS07yVHzc

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-04-12 22:16:45
51.   thelarmis
48 super cool! i've played the bay area before and knew the old sound guy at Yoshi's (Shalom - he's here in atlanta now), but never played there. always wanted to go there!

that is so cool you play, too. i taught quite a bit of latin drumming today! gonna go back to my studio for a late nite practice session. but i'm gonna work on other bay area stuff - the old david garibaldi tower of power material. killin' grooves!

i think Old Yanks Fan recently mentioned he used to play drums, also...

i'm thoroughly enjoying your posts, will. thanks for sharing your point of view from a different perspective.

oh, and as far as latin drummers are concerned, have you checked out Dafnis Prieto yet? all you lucky folks in NYC should go check him out if you have the chance. if i still lived at home (queens), i'd go in a new york minute...

2007-04-12 22:33:24
52.   sassy
WillWeiss responds to my comment (thanks for responding):

"And from standing next to him in reporting situations and following his career, there have been plenty of times where he's come across as not a "team" guy. That's fine. It doesn't bother me, and from a lot of these posts, it doesn't bother you guys, either, and that's cool....That's fine. It doesn't bother me, and from a lot of these posts, it doesn't bother you guys, either, and that's cool."

Actually, what I meant was that it was quite a reach to suggest that he was selfish from a facial expression. A real selfish player would never come to the Bronx and played second fiddle to Jeter, when everybody knows that AROD is the superior shortstop. And no, I don't think it's fine to call him selfish.

Look, if you want to suggest AROD chokes in the postseason, knock yourself out; the numbers back you up. But I think you need better evidence than a facial expression to call him selfish.

Oh, and I agree w/other posters making the Steve Lombardi comments. His A-Rod animus has made his blog unreadable.

2007-04-12 22:35:37
53.   Chyll Will
"Well, time to hit the ol' dusty trail..."

I'm afraid my brain is too mushy to continue tonight, so I will leave the overnight crew to their thang. I'll be back soon. I was going to do laundry tonight, but seeing the little party we were having, I couldn't leave right away (it's all your fault, Shaun P >;) and now, I will repair to the master bedroom and relieve my consciousness of it's real world contemplations and set adrift in the deep reverberations of delta waves and sub-conscious rejuvenation.

Fare thee well, young wastrels. zzzzz...

2007-04-12 22:36:54
54.   Zack
Wow, I stand corrected and ashamed of my assumptions! Well, maybe not so much ashamed. In any case, its always nice to have some fellow late nighters awake so that when I get around to stalling while I attempt to write, there is actually someone else talking back to me, isntead of just myself. Especially with no game to recap...

What's weird is that even though I live on the west coast, I have gotten to like having the games on at 4:00 here, so that west coast games are still weird for me and somewhat of an inconvienance, as it is right in my prime work hours...go figure..

2007-04-12 22:49:51
55.   thelarmis
zack, i love having buddies on the left coast - gives me someone to talk to late nite. i had one drum buddy move from the bay area back to NYC, but another just left the city and is in LA, so the switch keeps me all set! : )
2007-04-13 03:18:30
56.   OldYanksFan
36 fellatiating - wow, I've learning another new word here at the Banter. What an intellectual site!
2007-04-13 03:43:39
57.   OldYanksFan
I think ARod is more self absorbed then selfish. The "Let's not talk about me, let's talk about You. What do YOU think of me?' is more a need for attention then not caring about others. Remember, his father abandoned him when he was 8 years old.

I think, unless you are writing 'yellow' to sell your rag, that looking at actions is more accurate then looking at statements made or facial expressions.

ARod was THE BEST SS in the game and on tract to being the best SS in the HISTORY of the game. He gave that up. He took full blame for our PS loses, even when the entire team except 2 guys underperformed terribly.

He's written a child's book knowing he would face ridicule. He's donated tons of money and time. He's joined a team full of high profile players, knew he would be forever compared to 'Jeter the winner' and have other attention stealers like Giambi, Shef, Mo and others around.

Simply ask... if ARod's contract were for $13.5m/yr, would he get ANY of this attention? If writters didn't have ARod to kick around, would there be anything to read in the off-season?

We have known/suspected Wife/girlfriend abuses, PED users, drug abuses and even a few murderers in the game. Yet ARod's 'facial expressions' gets more print in a week then all these guys put together.

ARod is simply a target. Fans need a target. Writers need a target. People come up with all kinds of things as to why (says stupid things, takes off his shirt, gets a cold look from Jetes, gives an answer, doesn't give an answer, too honest, too insecure, and on and on) we have a right to harass him.

It's stupid. He is simply one very good ballplayer who had one insane GM overpay him. All the horseshit is really about OUR needs, not his.

2007-04-13 06:21:26
58.   Chyll Will
"ARod was THE BEST SS in the game and on tract to being the best SS in the HISTORY of the game."

Does that make him a prophet or the second coming of The Lord? There is biblical precedent here, as pointed out by a fellow Banterer months ago...

"And the LORD sayeth unto Moses, "What is that which you hold in your hand?"

Sayeth Moses, "A rod."

Well, no WONDER he's so self-absorbed...

Jesus said the same thing ("Let's not talk about me, let's talk about You. What do YOU think of me?') when he questioned His disciples about what they said to people while they performed miracles during their travels. >;)

(I know, Bama, but I'm just having a little fun, just pray for me >;)

2007-04-13 06:24:15
59.   Chyll Will
57 I agree with you, by the way.
2007-04-13 06:39:23
60.   Sliced Bread
Good to see you on the Banter, Chyll.

re: your post over at the Juice: word.

2007-04-13 08:18:24
61.   WillWeiss
Old Yanks fan (post 57) has it right. Since I've been engaging in semantics discussions here, I should know the difference between selfish and self-absorbed. The latter is a more apt description of A-Rod than the former. I stand corrected. I dig the psychoanalytical perspective there. But isn't a facial expression an action? A form of non-verbal communication? ... As for Sassy, where did I suggest he was selfish by a facial expression? I was using that as an example of how his on-field performance affects his demeanor and the fans' response to him. What I didn't do when I said, "will he come off as selfish" was say whether or not he'd be consumed with his own performance. It was another instance of not writing what I meant to say, which was a mistake.
2007-04-13 08:20:19
62.   WillWeiss
Back to Thelarmis ... I have not checked out Dafnis Prieto ... But Dave Garibaldi Tower of Power or anything Steve Gadd plays on puts me on the brink of either practicing like mad or using my sticks as kindling. Clayton Cameron is the same way. His brush solos are certifiably insane.
2007-04-13 08:59:36
63.   sam2175
Since I was the first commenter on the topic, let me explain myself a bit more.

I don't think Will has any agenda one way or the other, and that was why the disclaimer was put up. Even when he said, by his own admission, that it came out wrong, it did not appear he had anything against Rodriguez when he was making those points. His words were "coming off as selfish" which is different from calling him "selfish". Further, it indicates the lack of tact that Rodriguez has, rather than any wrong intentions on Rodriguez's part.

As for what followed, in terms of "facial expression", I do think it is a bit of a reach to focus so much on one person as to over analyze how he was reacting to a specific situation in which he played no direct role. The moment Will described was about Posada and Yankees, not about Rodriguez. Yet the focus was on Rodriguez striking out and how he subsequently reacted.

The other obvious thing wrong with that is what we frequently call causal connection. A facial expression can be caused by one of a million possible things going inside a person's mind, and s/he is the only one that can tell what was the reason. We can speculate, but that is what it is going to be, speculation, and in this particular instance, perhaps rather unfairly.

If this is how writers (again, not Will specifically) are going to analyze Rodriguez's each and every movement, the guy has no chance of catching a break, ever. And that is a bit disturbing: if it were me, I would probably want to be in an environment which is a bit more relaxing than this.

2007-04-13 10:29:06
64.   Start Spreading the News
56 The word is spelled wrong. I don't know if you were being ironic, but just to be safe. You never want to misspell a word when handling a topic of that sensitivity. :)
2007-04-13 11:43:20
65.   Chyll Will
64 Hmmm... I detect a double-entendre there, but I might be overly-sensitive >;) By the way, quick lesson: never handle sensitive topics with Old Spice.
2007-04-13 13:43:09
66.   Count Zero
65 O.o I'll be sure to remember that...

BTW, did anyone else notice that while uber-prospect "Don't Call Me Philip" was getting knocked around last night, a certain lefty in Trenton now has a line that looks incredibly Hughes-ian after his first two starts:

14IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 19K

Nice K/BB ratio. ;-)

2007-04-13 14:21:44
67.   OldYanksFan
61 I remember at 19, telling my father about my future plans. As I talked, I couldn't help notice a pained look on his face. The more I talked, the worse he looked. But I felt I had to tell him what was on my mind. As he continued to listen, he looked more and more upset... in pain almost. As I finished talking, he grimaced, and slowly, he began to look relieved.

It was obvious what I said had pained him; that he had no faith in my plans; and that I was a source of disappointment to him. Same old stuff. I hoped it might be different now. But not so. I even wondered if he still loved me.

After a few painful hours, I finally had to confront him and let him know how hurt I was that he so disapproved of my plans. I was on the verge of tears, and more upset then I knew at his obvious disappointment in me. When I was done pouring out my heart, he said:

What so said was great. I just happened to have a really bad upset stomach and terrible gas at the time.
Fortunately, just as you finished talking...
I farted.
(so much for facial expressions)

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