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The End
2007-10-08 21:22
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, and Bobby Abreu each hit late-inning home runs last night, but none of them came with men on base, and the three runs were not enough to dig the Yankees out of the early hole in which Chien-Ming Wang put them. Thus the Yankees' plan of winning one game at a time to salvage their season came up two wins short, ending their thrilling season with the franchise's third consecutive first-round playoff exit.

As much as I hate to see any one player take abuse for a team's collective failings, Chein-Ming Wang has to be the goat of this series. After giving up eight runs in 4 2/3 innings and taking the loss in an ugly Game One, Wang put the Yankees in another early hole last night. Grady Sizemore homered on Wang's third pitch to start things off, and singles by Travis Hafner and Jhonny Peralta made it 2-0 before the Yankees even got their first turn at bat. Still, Hafner's single was a ground ball (albeit a hard hit one) that found a hole near third base with Alex Rodriguez playing the lefty slugger to pull, and the three outs Wang recorded in that inning also came on the ground, so it seemed as if he was settling down.

He wasn't. The first two batters in the top of the second singled. Eric Wedge then signaled for Kelly Shoppach, his ninth-place hitter (and Paul Byrd's personal catcher), to bunt, but Wang's 1-0 pitch, which Jorge Posada wanted over the plate at the knee, sailed up and in sending Shoppach spinning to the ground. The ball appeared to ricochet of the barrel of Shoppach's bat, but, after conferencing, the umpires agreed that it had grazed his right hand, thus loading the bases with no outs for Sizemore, who had already homered of Wang in this game.

Again operating with the quick hook with his team facing elimination, Joe Torre called original Game Four starter Mike Mussina out of the pen (the arguments and umpire conferencing over the hit-by-pitch gave Mussina enough extra time to get warm). Mussina did what Wang couldn't by getting Sizemore to hit into a double play, trading a third Cleveland run for the two outs, but then gave up an RBI single to Asdrubal Cabrera and walked Hafner before getting out of the inning with the Yankees trailing 4-0.

The Yankees slow climb back into the game began in the bottom of the second when Derek Jeter beat out an infield single with the bases loaded and two outs to drive in the first Yankee run, but the Bombers would never reach the apex. Paul Byrd kept the Yanks off balance all night, stranding two men in the first, three in the second, and one each in the third, fourth, and fifth. Meanwhile, Mussina allowed two more runs in the fourth when Victor Martinez singled to plate Shoppach and Sizemore, who had started the inning with a ground-rule double and a walk. Before the night was over, every man in the Yankee lineup would leave at least one man on base, with each of the top eight hitters stranding at least two.

Robinson Cano's home run, his second of the series, came leading off the sixth and drove Byrd from the game in favor of lefty Rafael Perez. After singles by pinch-hitter Shelley Duncan and Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter hit into his third double play in the last two games to end the inning.

Rodriguez's homer came off Perez with one out and none on in the seventh (Rodriguez had singled in his previous at-bat and hit .267 on the series after going 4 for 9 in the final two games). Hideki Matsui would draw a two-out walk later in the inning only to be stranded by a Cano groundout.

Trailing by three, the Yankees went down 1-2-3 against Rafael Betancourt in the eighth. That set up Jeter, Abreu, and Rodriguez for the ninth against Joe Borowski. Jeter, who hit .176 on the series, popped out on a 1-1 pitch. Abreu homered into the upper deck in right to make it 6-4. Rodriguez flied out to the warning track in right on a 1-2 pitch up and away. Posada, who hit .133 on the series, struck out on three pitches: a called high strike, a would-be home run that curved just a few feet foul down the right field line, and a slider in the dirt that he flailed at hopelessly to end the Yankees' season.

The end.

The end of what, I don't know. And right now I'm not going to speculate. I can tell you that Joe Torre's post-game press conference saw him refer to the Yankees' future and his 12 years with the team with a peaceful detachment that seemed very telling, though he amicably refused to answer any questions about his future with the team (as did Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, and Andy Pettitte, some less amicably than others) and did suggest that he wasn't ready to retire. About that I'll only remind you all that his contract is up. Even if he doesn't come back, he won't have been fired. He's a free agent.

As for the rest, I'll do my usual player-by-player postmortems and suggestions and analysis of offseason moves and needs in the coming weeks. As for the just-completed series, here are my heroes and goats:

Goats:

Chien-Ming Wang gave up 12 runs in less than six innings in two starts taking two of the team's three loses and posting a 19.06 ERA. If any one player shoulders this loss, it's Wang.

Roger Clemens repeatedly insisted that he would be ready to start Game Three, but he tweaked his hamstring in the second inning and didn't make it out of the third, forcing Joe Torre to use Phil Hughes in Game Three, making him unavailable in Game Four, a game they lost by just two runs, which is exactly how many runs fellow goat Mike Mussina allowed in addition to the two inherited runners he allowed to score.

In his only appearance, Luiz Vizcaino came into Game Two in the eleventh inning and walked the first man he faced on four pitches. Five batters later the Indians were celebrating a win and Vizcaino was walking off the field having gotten just two outs, one of them on a sac bunt.

This is tough to do, but Joba Chamberlain did allow the tying run to score in the eighth inning of Game Two. Yes, he was the victim of the worst of the midge infestation, and, yes, the game probably should have been stopped at that point, but Fausto Carmona had to pitch through the midges as well and retired six of seven batters in the two innings sandwiching Joba's meltdown. And that's why Joba's here, because it really was a meltdown. He walked Sizemore on four pitches to start the inning, moved him to second on a wild pitch and, after Sizemore was bunted to third, scored him on another wild pitch. Perhaps this judgment speaks to the unrealistic expectations that Chamberlain has created for himself. He was, after all, a 21-year-old rookie making his first postseason appearance in a 1-0 game after just 24 big league innings (which, incidentally, saw him uncork just one wild pitch) and doing so amid an insect infestation. Still, if Joba had given up that run via a couple of hits or even a homer, I might have understood, but the way it happened, I have no choice but to add him to this list.

That said, it seemed Joba was getting his fastball over for strikes, so Jorge Posada can share some of the blame for going to his slider too much during that inning despite the fact that Joba couldn't control it (or for not resisting Joba's insistence on throwing it). Really, though, Jorge's on this list because he went 2 for 15 and didn't drive in a single run, leaving 11 men on base. A disappointing end to an incredible season.

Derek Jeter went 3 for 17, all singles, didn't draw a walk, didn't score a run, hit into three double plays, and left eight men on base, driving in only one other via an infield single. He also made an error early in Game Three that was erroneously ruled a hit.

Heroes:

I'm hoping Andy Pettitte will pick up his player option for next year, but if he doesn't and his final game as a Yankee was Game Two of this series, it will have been a fitting finale. Simply put, he was nails, stranding seven men on base, erasing a ninth via a double play, and picking off a tenth who was in scoring position to give the Yankees 6 1/3 scoreless innings following their loss in Game One. The bullpen blew the win, but Pettitte will forever be the Stopper.

Had the Yankees come back to win the series, Johnny Damon's three-run home run in Game Three to turn a 2-3 deficit into a 5-3 lead would have ranked among the biggest home runs in Yankee postseason history. Overall, Damon went 5 for 18 with a walk, two home runs, and five RBIs. The only Yankee with a better series was Robinson Cano, who went 5 for 15 with a double, two homers, and a walk.

Finally, Phil Hughes provided hope for the future by pitching 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Roger Clemens to earn the only Yankee win of the series. In two relief apperances, Hughes pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing just one run on a Ryan Garko solo homer. He allowed just two other hits in those two appearances, walked none, and struck out six.

Comments (266)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-10-09 04:41:33
1.   Ben
It was an amazing season. I enjoyed watching along with everyone here.

So, a month or two in Hawaii then back to business, right?

Thanks Cliff and Alex and Emma and Will. The Banter got tons better this year. I look forward to what's next.

2007-10-09 04:54:07
2.   DJSample
I think Posada has been getting a free pass for the number of balls that get passed him. Granted, there isn't a lot of time to get your body in front of a Joba pitch off the plate, but he didn't make much more than token hand gestures to stop Joba's pitches in Cleveland. Its been a problem for a while that seems to go under the radar.
2007-10-09 05:00:59
3.   Neuropit
Now I really have a lump in my throat.

I'm here hoping that Andy will pick his option, Jorge and Mo will sign new contracts (enabling them to end their careers in pinstripes), maybe even that the team will pick Abreu's option.

I don't know what to think of A-Rod and his expected request for more money, maybe I'm a little bit outraged...
I think this is it for Joe and I'll miss him, even with his tactical errors. This year he made a wonderful job, never wavering, never surrendering, with a team that started 21-29 and easily could have gone south without his calming influence.

But now is time to start again, we have many young talents and they must play, they must learn... And Joe Girardi did a great job with youngsters down in Florida.

An enormous THANK YOU to all of you people of The Banter.
I'm a new member but you've been magnificent all year and I'm eagerly awaiting next season.

As every Yankee fan will do.

Now let us hibernate for a few months.

2007-10-09 05:10:03
4.   RIYank
Well, that was terrible. It was terrible to watch. A badly played series, but one that was still winnable with a few breaks. But, that's baseball.

I really need some baseball "down time". I expect I'll come back when the A-Rod clock starts ticking and hot stove gets red hot. Or if there's a decisive announcement about Torre's future.

Thanks, Banterers. August and September were fantastic, and the other months, well I'm glad I didn't have to make it through them alone!

2007-10-09 05:17:17
5.   RIYank
Oh, I wasn't explicit enough about this, so let me echo Ben:

Thanks Cliff and Alex and Emma and Will!

2007-10-09 05:33:09
6.   Rob Middletown CT
That sucked. Had it been game 5 in Cleveland vs. Sabathia/Carmona and they'd lost... fine. But they failed to hit Paul Byrd (and Wang was awful again) at home.

The Indians were the better team, at least for the playoffs. They had the pitching the Yankees did not.

2007-10-09 05:40:34
7.   Sliced Bread
It was definitely easier in the 80's. You pretty much knew how the season was going to end by late July, so you could cruise through the final two months in that peacefully detached mode. But what Yankee fan wouldn't rather be vigorously engaged in October?

Peacefully detatched, Cliff, that's exactly how Joe seemed at the end last night. Gave a touching eulogy at his own wake. The soul had already left the Yankee body.

We'll pay our respects to good ol' Joe Torre. There will be formal occasions to celebrate and thank him, and I will always.

But now is not a time for despair around the Yankees. Now is a time of bright promise. There's plenty of talent to rebuild around. They'll be competitive again next year.

To that end, so much for peaceful detachment. Now begins a winter of vigorous engagement at the Bronx Banter. Yankee problems? We'll work 'em out.

Whatever happens this winter, I'm ready for the first pitch of 2008. Phil "Big Shoes" Hughes on the mound...

2007-10-09 05:52:40
8.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i'd like to join in the chorus, thanking the fine contributors for their efforts and providing all of us with a place to come to get thoughtful coverage of our favorite team.

6 i was saying it last night: if we can't beat paul byrd with our backs against the wall, we don't deserve to play on.

7 the future is promising. let's hope that cool heads prevail and no unnecessarily desperate measures are taken.

2007-10-09 05:57:59
9.   JoeInRI
At the risk of parsimony . . . thanks to Alex and Cliff for this site and to all the contributors . . . consistently the best baseball reading on the web. I don't voice my opinion as much as others here, but I always enjoy the commentary.

As much as I wanted to believe otherwise, I didn't have a good feeling about last night. For some reason the Yankees of this century seems to fold under the pressure that their predecessors thrived on.

Maybe I should be happy that they just seem to go to the post season every year. After all I could be a Mets fan. But, damn, it's getting hard to enjoy October anymore.

2007-10-09 05:59:36
10.   Sliced Bread
Postmortem observations?

Yanks were betrayed by their pitching. Young and old. Could have gone either way, but who didn't see this coming?

Second-hand smoke.
When the opposing pitcher is on his game,
would it kill these guys to ease off the throttle at the plate? Maybe choke up a bit, shorten the swing, and, you know, get on base?

Home run. Home run. Home run. Nice, nice, very nice, but do they all have to be solo acts? Duos. Trios. Quartets. The E-Street Band! More baserunners next time, please.

2007-10-09 06:12:44
11.   Simone
10 Word. The Yankees' pitching killed them most of the season and came back to bite them in the ass in the post-season. The offense struggled, but that is to be expected against such good pitchers.

I think the Yankees reaching the post-season was amazing given their horrific beginning so I still give them props for fighting back when they could have laid down and died.

I enjoyed the blog posts this season by Cliff, Alex, Will, Emma and anyone else that I didn't name.

As for the comment section, well, the fact that I rarely commented in the game threads as the season progressed says it all.

2007-10-09 06:15:04
12.   nemecizer
About 130 days until pitchers and catchers report.
2007-10-09 06:15:41
13.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Huge `Arigato Gozaimasu` to the Banter, it really helped me deal with being so far away from the action. Only 4 1/2 months till pitchers and catchers report??
(BTW, my wife is due to give birth any day now, to our first child, a son. She asked me "Are you going to teach him to act like a maniac when watching the Yankees? Not sure I can take two of you.." "Of course I am".
Sayonara till Spring
2007-10-09 06:15:58
14.   rbj
Yes, thanks to Alex & Cliff & Emma & Will (& anyone else I've forgotten) and all the other Banterers.

By the 4th inning I was flipping channels & went to bed at 11. Tired and it just didn't seem like the team had it this year. Still, an amazing comeback just to be able to get into the playoffs, unlike a certain other team. At least the Yankees won one game, something none of the other losers did.

Resign Mo & Jorge, extend A-Rod. Make sure Andy picks up his option.

Pettitte, Wang, Joba, Phil, Ian/Moose? The rotation looks good for next year and the kids now have some playoff experience.

The big question is Girardi or Mattingly.

2007-10-09 06:22:28
15.   Start Spreading the News
Yankees were killed by pitching. What they faced and what they got from their own staff.

Cliff: I would have put Mariano as a hero of the series. He went 4.2 innings with 6 Ks, 2 H, 1 B, 0 Earned Runs

That's pretty good.

2007-10-09 06:30:55
16.   Yankee Fan In Boston
12 i was just thinking about making that calculation, when it occured to me that someone here was likely to have done the math for me already.

thanks.

2007-10-09 06:32:39
17.   Yankee Fan In Boston
13 congrats and good luck to your family.
2007-10-09 06:33:35
18.   NJYankee41
With Joe likely on his way out I can't help but feel a bit nostalgic. I'm a relatively young fan and the only 2 managers I have know are Buck and Joe. When Joe leaves a piece of my childhood will leave with him.

I would also like to thank everyone for a great year on the Banter. This is the first place I go every morning for my Yankee fix, because the write ups and comments are top notch.

This feels a bit like '95 when the old gaurd was ready to pass the team along to the young guys. Not to mention disappointing playoff loss and probable managerial change.

2007-10-09 06:40:12
19.   Eric
3 You may be surprised, but there is quite a bit of activity here during the winter, no hibernation!
2007-10-09 06:41:30
20.   Mattpat11
I don't blame Mussina for this disaster.
2007-10-09 06:42:00
21.   rbj
18 Wow, I went through the '80s manager of the month.
2007-10-09 06:47:21
22.   seamus
Well, now starts the offseason wheel. I'm not going to play the blame game. We've got a lot of serious business to get done. Sign Mo and Po. Keep A-rod. Hire a manager. The banter will be hopping this offseason. I actually love the optimism that offseason moves bring (even if it is irrational).

I hope we take Abreu's option and resign Molina and Vizcaino. I wish we could dump Giambi but we're stuck with him for one more year. I hope he is ok being a DH/bench player because that is what he is now. If he is healthy he could be real effective in that role fo rus.

Obviously, it is sad and scary to see Torre go. If not for any other reason than that we don't know what to expect. Of course, once we hire someone I'll be optimistic about what they'lll bring.

rock on y'all. Thanks banterites for all your contributions (main posters and commenters). Onward and Upwards!

2007-10-09 06:47:37
23.   RichB
15 Indeed, the pitching is a two sided coin. When Andy went 6 1/3 scoreless, he matched pitch for pitch with one of the best pitchers in the league. While the kids are too young to make too definitive a statement about them, none of the other Yankee pitchers are capable of as much. I don't want to get down on Wang because he is a good pitcher who just had a bad series, but it's also time we stopped calling him an "ace". He's not. He is a solid #3 starter who most of the time won't shut anyone down, but can keep you in the game.

Hopefully one or more of Hughes, Chamberlain and Kennedy can step up and take that mantle, because otherwise we will keep losing to the likes of Sabathia/Carmona, Bonderman/Verlander/Rogers, Lackey/Colon, Shilling/Martinez/Lowe, etc. The parade of dominant pitchers who shut us down every year is getting long, and we haven't had enough firepower to match them.

2007-10-09 06:53:26
24.   Mattpat11
I still can't believe we had people sitting breaking ball last night. It was like everyone turned into little leaguers.
2007-10-09 06:55:19
25.   Rob Middletown CT
Agreed that Wang is not an ace, but rather a solid #3. But he has been the Yankees' "ace" and therein lies their problem, in a nutshell.

With Hughes & Chamberlain (Kennedy is good too, but I don't think anyone projects him to be a #1 - he slots into Wang territory, hopefully) that may finally change.

If ARod, Posada, Mo and Pettitte come back, I will be optimistic for 2008. If one or more leave... things could get worse before they get better.

2007-10-09 06:56:29
26.   Bob B
The end of the season is always bad. This year especially. The second half of the year was really something to watch. But the loss to Cleveland will be painful because I really think the team we'll see next season will be much different from the team that went 70-35 down the stretch. Plenty of good memories, outrage at the gods of baseball and the freaking midges (May they infest the entire town of Cleveland like a plague).
Next year probably no Torre or A-Rod to kick around. Maybe no Mo, no Posada, no Abreau, maybe no Pettite............ definitely no Clemons. No Minky either. He finally earned my respect the last few weeks (the play at first base in game two line drive was amazing. I don't know that anyone could have made that play and make it look easy-better than Mattingly and Tino with the glove).
I won't watch another inning of baseball this season. But I will check in here from time to time.
Thanks Alex. Thanks Cliff. Thanks Emma. Thanks Will. And thank you to all the poster's on Bronxbanter. May you have all be healthy and happy the rest of this year.
2007-10-09 06:57:48
27.   seamus
25 those four guys are going to have a HUGE impact on what to expect in 2008. Pettitte coming back allows us to have two possible stabilizers in the rotation while our youngsters gain their feet. A rotation of Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, Chamberlain, and Kennedy and/or Moose would be awesome. I'm not sure how we'll deal with the inning limits on Hughes and Chamberlain though.
2007-10-09 07:07:48
28.   dianagramr
Thank you Cliff, Alex, Emma and Will for your outstanding writing and coverage this season.

Thank you, fellow Banterers, for your devotion, wit, passion and intellect.

2007-10-09 07:10:07
29.   Felix Heredia
What to do with . . . Derek Jeter? Maybe he hurt his knee early in the season and it never had a chance to heal, but the holes to his left and right get larger and larger. The Indians certainly noticed them last night, slapping outside pitches between first and third. Clearly Jeter can still hit, but he's becoming a very mediocre shortstop.
2007-10-09 07:12:18
30.   seamus
29 While I agree that Jeter's range is diminishing, I simply don't see that as a major issue for 2008. With his bat, and what he does continue to offer in the field, we simply need to focus on keeping him healthy and restoring our more substantial weak points at first base and in the bullpen.
2007-10-09 07:13:11
31.   Yankee Fan In Boston
26 "the freaking midges (May they infest the entire town of Cleveland like a plague)."

isn't living in cleveland punishment enough? i mean... you're entering ichiro territory here.

2007-10-09 07:22:21
32.   Comrade Al
30 The Indians found holes halfway between 3rd and short; nothing you could do about that. However, if Jeter could play short centerfield to catch all those 2 out bloopers ...
2007-10-09 07:25:11
33.   dianagramr
If Torre lost the series at any point, it was game 2 during the midge infestation.

He should have pulled his team off the field citing possible injury (ex. Jeter goes to field ball, midge flies into his eye, and ball bounces into said eye).

They've stopped games for bees and hornets .... why not midges?

2007-10-09 07:27:31
34.   Rob Middletown CT
The bloops were infuriating. The Indians' bloops fell and the Yankees' didn't. There are other reasons they lost, of course, but the bounces didn't exactly go their way (like they used to, in the glory days).
2007-10-09 07:29:29
35.   Dark Knight
Thanks Cliff and Alex and Emma and Will!

This was my first Banter season and I thoroughly enjoyed the writings, and even shared pain.

And, if this was Joe's last managed game, thanks for so much for 1996 and 1998-2000. We are realizing how truly fortunate we were.

2007-10-09 07:33:44
36.   Shaun P
28 Here here!

No place I'd rather commiserate than with you folks.

No place I'd rather get my news and analysis than from Alex, Cliff, Emma, Will and Bruce.

Anyone want to join me over at Bad Altitude to cheer on the Rockies? Go NL! =)

2007-10-09 07:39:08
37.   seamus
36 as an asthmatic, I'll pass. Bad Altitude sounds awfully dangerous for me.
2007-10-09 07:41:29
38.   OldYanksFan
11 "As for the comment section, well, the fact that I rarely commented in the game threads as the season progressed says it all."

Actually, I'm not sure it does. I would love to hear your feelings that led you to make that statement. Alex and Cliff have made this blog 'self regulating' so I think your opinion on the comments IS a necessary comment.

23 - 25 It's amazing that we don't have the greatest SP.... after all, our #3 won 38 games over the last 2 years, was in contention for a CY, and has a career ERA of 3.74! Man, our other 2 guys must be REALLY good.

30 Unfortunately, the runs Jeter's defense is allowing is beginning to catch up to the runs his offense is adding. While he is still a big plus, I can no longer consider him an elite SS. I wonder how differently we would look/play next year with Jetes at 1B and ARod at SS next year.

2007-10-09 07:43:25
39.   ms october
34 The bounces and calls (other than the game 1 Damon home-run) all went to Cleveland. But the main problem was the inability to get Cleveland out when Yanks had 2 outs and the Yanks not stringing together enough hits.
That the Yanks pitchers could not get out of the inning when they got 2 outs seems to speak to the lack of a shut-down ace. IMO Mo might be the most important of the FAs (and though you can't put too much stock in post-game comments after last night's loss -his comments seem to suggest - rightfully so - he is not that pleased that his contract was not addressed earlier) just because without him the inclination might be to Paplebon Joba and make him the closer rather than groom him to be the ace.
There are just so many question marks heading into the off-season - probably SS and 2B are the only givens with all the FA/options and the remote possibility that if Stein or one of his minions wants to make a splash he brings in one of the FA CF.
What to do with the Giambi/Matsui/Damon situation also has to get resolved somehow.
I am excited about the possibilities but am also a little apprehensive about how all these ?s will be resolved.
2007-10-09 07:45:03
40.   rbj
36 I have been wondering which team to root for. I could put the Rockies #1, then possibly Cleveland (if you have to lose, lose to the WS winner, plus it ends another long drought) then the Diamondbacks. After that, I'm rooting for an asteroid to hit earth.
2007-10-09 07:46:18
41.   vockins
30 If ARod leaves I think it will be a very major issue. I'm willing to be shot down by superior analysis on this one, but I've been getting the impression that Jeter is riding ARod's superior defensive coattails. Excepting 2006 - ARod was just weird that year.

Do I have a better option for SS? No, but I don't think that means the Yanks should stick with Jeter playing there. I think Jeter has to go to the OF or 1b.

I'm also inclined to say the Yanks should pass on Posada. He's poised to fall off of a cliff. Off a cliff Posada might be better than anything available, though.

2007-10-09 07:56:54
42.   Shaun P
40 I think that's the right approach, though right now, I wouldn't mind if the ALCS ended with no victor, and the NLCS winner was declared champion by default.

Sigh. Its like those two years were the Super Bowl was Cowboys-Bills. A lose-lose situation for any Giants fan.

41 But the only place Jeter's bat would play in the OF is CF, and displacing Melky would be, I think, a mistake. I think Posada's value could be maximized by making him at least a part-time 1B going forward (I presume he stays) - so no room there either.

Given the young guns are going to be strikeout guys - both the starters AND the relievers - SS defense does not worry me so much over the next couple of years.

2007-10-09 07:59:53
43.   Count Zero
Too early for 2008 roster analysis, really. I'll wait till the Serious is over.

Postmortem? Can't say I was surprised -- I felt all along that this team would bow out in the first round due to lack of pitching (rotation and bullpen). I cheered for them just the same because, well, you never know do you?

End of an era? I thought it ended back in 2004...someone forgot to tell the era though.

I wish Joe Torre the best in everything -- he's a good man. I hope that was really goodbye though, because I hate it when people say goodbye and then come back...repeatedly.

As for players with bitter comments, and players who won't return if Joe's gone -- to you I say very simply: "Grow up."

And for everyone here at BB including Cliff, Alex, Will and Emma, thanks for another great season of...well...you know...banter. ^_^

2007-10-09 08:01:14
44.   ny2ca2dc
I'll add to the thanks to Alex & Cliff & the rest for creating the best sports blog there is. And to all the banter-ers, all the best, it's been a hell of a season, bring on the hot stove!

Here's a good skewering of that idiot Chip:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/09/sports/baseball/09sandomir.html?ref=baseball

2007-10-09 08:02:26
45.   yankz
Cashman said explicitly that Jeter's their SS, so there's no point speculating.

As for me, Tribe over Rockies in 7 would be ideal.

2007-10-09 08:04:12
46.   rbj
44 Gulp
"Then there is Chip Caray, TBS's lead baseball announcer, who . . . will work deeper into the postseason on the National League Championship Series."

I may not watch much of the NLCS then.

2007-10-09 08:05:15
47.   seamus
45 agreed on Jeter at SS.

41 yes, I think that Arod leaving could really wind up showing up Jeter's declining skills. So, lets hope that won't happen.

2007-10-09 08:05:30
48.   OldYanksFan
http://tinyurl.com/3935fu
You guys think the Yankees will perform better for Tony La Russa then they did for Torre?
2007-10-09 08:06:16
49.   seamus
46 I couldn't believe how awful they were last night.
2007-10-09 08:06:57
50.   yankz
Via Pete: "The Daily News says Tony La Russa is a viable candidate to replace Joe Torre. The Post says he's not interested."

Oh thank god, seriously dodged a bullet there.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-10-09 08:15:20
51.   williamnyy23
43 Way too early...until the A-bomb drops, it makes no sense to even draw an outline.

48 LaRussa would be maddening, but at least he seems to have a sense of strategy and a more well thought out approach. He also comes with Dave Duncan, which is nice. Having said that, I'd like to see them look for a younger, more statistically inclined manager.

2007-10-09 08:16:51
52.   seamus
50 Apparently Valentine and Showalter are on the short list too. I want nothing to do with them personally. The other short listers are Girardi and Mattingly. I like Girardi. I don't always agree with him but I feel like he'd have the team ready to play.

One thing is that I believe that Torre has had something to do with the slow starts the last couple of years, both in the regular season and in the playoffs. Not because of his limitations as a technician, but because of how he motivates. I think someone like Girardi would do a good job of getting this team started quicker. I think a lot of how we have struggled in April and in the ALDS is rooted in how we have approached them. It hasn't worked motivation wise.

2007-10-09 08:18:49
53.   williamnyy23
52 I think Buck and Showalter don't like each other very much. So, if Buck is managing, then that means Arod is probably gone, and the team has really come full circle.
2007-10-09 08:19:37
54.   Shaun P
50 IIRC, wasn't there some bad blood between LaRussa and the Boss from way way back in the day, with LaRussa saying he'd never work for Steinbrenner?

What a silly notion. TLR had an awful time dealing with the St Louis media (no offense to the St Louis media, but its a world of difference between the Post-Dispatch and the Post). Thinking of him in front of the NY media sends shivers down my spine.

2007-10-09 08:20:15
55.   Bama Yankee
Thanks to Alex, Cliff, Emma, Wil & Bruce for all the great work this year. A special thanks to Ken for giving them a place to do their thing. Also, thanks to everyone who drops by here regularly to make this place more like a family than a blog.
2007-10-09 08:20:47
56.   williamnyy23
54 That's actually a reason to favor LaRussa...making life difficult for the media is a redeeming quality.
2007-10-09 08:21:28
57.   rbj
52 I think Torre's early season strategy is just trying different guys in different situations (especially with the bullpen) just to see who can do what. It's as if the first 60 games don't matter. That may be a good strategy when you don't know what you have, but it could also lead to complacency, which to me seems to be evident in the postseason play of the Yankees. They seem more willing to wait for something to happen rather than make it happen.
2007-10-09 08:26:09
58.   Shaun P
56 I don't think TLR would make life difficult for the media. I think they'd make mincemeat out of him - and make things that much harder for the players.

Even the most strident "Fire Torre" advocates (those who go back to 2004) agree that he was excellent at insulating his players from the media pressure (chop jobs on A-Rod by Tom Verducci aside).

TLR, frankly, would suck at that.

2007-10-09 08:27:03
59.   Jeb
In a related story, Ms. Waldman will have to wait another year for me.

Seriously, I don't mind losing Torre for Donnie, but would prefer that we get Girardi. Also, I'd like to see Cano batting 3rd in front of Arod where he'll see more pitches, and putting Abreu 5th. That's a potent 3-4-5 combo.

I don't want to lose Arod, despite my frustrated comments last night. But my main reason for saying keep him is simply because there aren't any good replacements on the horizon.

I am looking forward to a rotation of Joba, IPK, Hughes, Wang and Andy. The Yanks just need to get some shutdown relievers and they'll be fine.

Damn I am depressed.

2007-10-09 08:31:12
60.   williamnyy23
The Yankees are now 0-3 as the Wild Card. Man, I really wish they would have played to win the division down the stretch. Facing Anaheim at home could have made all the difference.
2007-10-09 08:34:34
61.   Bama Yankee
59 That's too bad, because I thought I heard Sterling mention that Suzyn was working on her third bag of peanuts last night... ;-)
2007-10-09 08:35:47
62.   Schteeve
I'm not outraged or angry. I'm barely disappointed. I'd say that I'm tired of tipping my cap to opposing pitchers, but I remember saying that last year.

The Yankees lineup has a glaring weakness. They struggle against pitchers who throw strikes. But even that seems too easy. They had Sabathia where they wanted him and couldn't come up with the knockout punch.

A lame effort and I don't even have a faint idea of how to fix it.

2007-10-09 08:37:28
63.   weeping for brunnhilde
10 Obviously I agree with you, sliced. It's especially painful to watch as the other team is busy excelling at putting balls in play with risp by going the other way, fighting off (rather than swinging through) tough pitches, etc.

By no means is it all Alex' fault, but frankly, he had enough pitches to hit in big spots that he didn't do anything with. They challenged him and they beat him.

Hard to watch.

2007-10-09 08:42:20
64.   weeping for brunnhilde
20 Agreed, mattpat. I think Mike came up about as big as could be expected at this stage in his career. Those Clevelands excelled at putting the ball in play. Mike made some pretty good pitches and they hit 'em anyway. Either way, he kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win. Yesterday's loss was all on the sticks because despite Chien's failure, the game was winnable.
2007-10-09 08:43:51
65.   weeping for brunnhilde
23 Except that strangely, we always seemed to handle Pedro.
2007-10-09 08:47:23
66.   weeping for brunnhilde
34 I'm not sure, but I think the reason their bloops fell in is because they hit more of them.

We hit a few, but also struck out and popped up a lot in those big spots.

2007-10-09 08:49:15
67.   monkeypants
63 Good heavens, why single out A-Rod and his .820 playoff OPS, as opposed to Posada (.435) or Jeter (.353) or Melky (.563) or Matsui (.619)?
2007-10-09 08:50:02
68.   joejoejoe
I think Moose did OK in relief of Wang. Not great but not a goat.

I'll miss Torre but it's not a sad thing to see him do something now besides manage the Yankees. He's become rich while managing in NY and he was rich already in the things that matter - family, friends, respect. I could see Torre becoming Zimmer and sticking around forever in the bigs as a bench coach, maybe even across town for Willie Randolph.

2007-10-09 08:51:46
69.   monkeypants
66 For the record, the Indians struck out more times (30) than the Yankees did in the series (28).
2007-10-09 08:57:44
70.   dianagramr
Rivera to test the market ...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3055382

2007-10-09 08:58:10
71.   weeping for brunnhilde
67 I'm singling him out because he's the MVP.

As I say, it's not all his fault, but he disappointed me and he's the big guy. And he really had pitches to hit.

I wasn't expecting much from Melky or Hideki.

Derek let me down, too.

And as to the strikeouts, that may be. All I know is I'm tired of seeing the other team slap and dunk the ball around to plate runs while we strike out and pop up.

Maybe I'm delusional, I don't know.

Just telling you how I feel.

2007-10-09 08:58:18
72.   dianagramr
69

in how many respective at-bats?

2007-10-09 09:00:51
73.   monkeypants
71 You're not delusional, but you are unfair. A-Rod had opportunities and missed them, but he contrbuted as well. The other guys had opportunities and missed and by and large didn't contribute and (in the case of Jeter) was a downright detriment, as he obliterated baserunners with DPs.
2007-10-09 09:04:51
74.   weeping for brunnhilde
73 Maybe I'm being unfair. The whole team lost, agreed. There's enough blame to go around, agreed.

My only point is that if there were one guy who might have put the team on his back, it was Alex. He failed to do that. I was just hoping he'd finally bust out and be a monster. He wasn't. Especially against Byrd, I expected a lot from him.

2007-10-09 09:09:00
75.   monkeypants
72

Indians: 143 AB, 24 BB, 30 K = 1 K/5.67 PA
Yankees: 136 AB, 14 BB, 28 K = 1 k/5.34 PA

I'm not sure that marginal difference in strikeouts mattered much. Maybe the Indians outhit the Yankees because they had the magic formula for turning pop ups into bloop hits. Or maybe it's because the walked 10 more times and they had 17 XBH (6 HR, 1 3B, 10 2B) to the Yankees' 10 (7 HR, 3 2B).

2007-10-09 09:11:02
76.   monkeypants
74 "I expected a lot from him."

Indeed, if the expectation for A-Rod is that he disappoints if he is not " a monster" and does not "put the team on his back." We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

2007-10-09 09:11:19
77.   seamus
74 Assigning blame is a losing proposition. It always is and it winds up being a circular argument that has no definite objective answer in team sports. Just my opinion.
2007-10-09 09:13:03
78.   Rob Middletown CT
38 - I didn't say that Wang was the Yankees #3 starter. I said that he is A #3 starter (the implication being he's a #3 starter on a championship club), and specifically pointed out that the fact that Wang has been the Yankees #1 is essentially their problem. IF he was the Yanks #3, their starting pitching would be great.

So, having made a short story long, you misread my post.

2007-10-09 09:18:11
79.   Bama Yankee
Take a look at the updated sidebar. Is anyone prepared for the possible roster that we could see next spring:

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Giambi 1B
Matsui DH
Cano 2B
Betemit 3B
Molina C
Melky CF

Bench:
Duncan
Phillips
Gonzalez
Sardinha
BUC of the month club

Starters:
Wang
Pettitte
Hughes
Mussina
Kennedy

Pen:
Joba
Farns
Edwar
Veras
Ohlendorf
Igawa

2007-10-09 09:21:32
80.   monkeypants
79 The odds of that roster are slim to none and falling fast. It assumes that basically everybody leaves (why drop Pettitte from the rotation, too), and no one signed, and Joba stays in the pen for reasons sure to perplex most cogent observers.
2007-10-09 09:21:45
81.   JL25and3
I'm not sure why Mussina is getting all this love. The double play was great, but after that he gave up three more runs. I suppose he was OK, but he wasn't good.
2007-10-09 09:24:13
82.   monkeypants
81 Exactly. He was as expected had he started: a few innings and a few runs. In retrospect the team should have started Moose and hoped for something like 5 INN and 3 or 4 R, then gone to the pen. But who knew?
2007-10-09 09:25:25
83.   weeping for brunnhilde
81 Because he wasn't shelled. Given his spotty performance all year long, he could easily have given up 6. He didn't. He came out of the pen and kept us in the game. I think he did a bang-up job considering the circumstances and his time of life.
2007-10-09 09:38:08
84.   YankeeInMichigan
The Tigers just picked up Pudge's $13 million option. If a 12.3 VORP fetches 13 million, what's Posada's market value?

(Granted, the sticky point with Posada will be not dollars but years.)

2007-10-09 09:44:26
85.   weeping for brunnhilde
Ride the snake.
2007-10-09 09:45:32
86.   rbj
84 2 + 3rd option, or even 3 + 4th option. I'd be comfortable with that. Jorge got a late start in catching, so he's probably got a couple more good years left. Also can transition him to firstbase for the last year or two.

Besides, what else is out there? Molina is a BUC only.

2007-10-09 09:47:20
87.   JoeInRI
Here's a scenario . . .

Seeing Torre a free man, Manaya fires Willie and hires Joe for a 2nd tour in Queens.

Out of spite, Mo, Jorgie, Andy and Abreu decide to follow him.

The Sox sign A-Rod to play SS and resign Lowell.

And the Yanks . . . rebuild.

2007-10-09 09:47:37
88.   Bama Yankee
80 I hope you're right. But it is certainly possible: A-Rod opts out, Mo & Po follow Torre out the door (say it ain't so, Mo & Po).

As you point out, that roster is not even the worst case (Pettitte could also walk). Also, you're probably right, we would certainly sign someone... Bonds is looking for work ;-)

I'm not saying that we'll end up with all those guys leaving, but when I saw the updated sidebar I thought how bad it could be if they did...

2007-10-09 09:48:32
89.   JoeInRI
88 I knew great minds think alike . . .
2007-10-09 09:54:49
90.   dianagramr
88

(SHUDDER)

Is Matt Nokes still around?

2007-10-09 09:56:06
91.   Zack
I work up this morning with the briefest of flashes that the Yanks actually won last night, then a moment of sadness, and then just clam indifference.

Like many have said, the Yankees weren't as good as the Indians. They were a infuriatingly streaky team all year that could look amazing for three games and then look terrible for 3. Remember, this team was coming up just short all season long. They went up against a team that was tied for the best record in the majors that was particularly suited for the stupid 5 game series. In theory, it should be a great ALCS, but I have visions of the Indians chocking and Borowski sucking (shocker!)

It was a fun season, and what was most enjoyable for me was having some more kids on the team that were easy to root for.

And all that being said, its going to be an interesting offseason for sure. I can't say I will be sorry if Torre goes, mostly for the fact that I just think a manager can only manage for so long. They have shelf-lives, and Torre's, I think, has expired. I don't really think another manager, especially if it is Mattingly, will particularly change anything, but who knows. Eiland as pitching coach would be intriguing with all the kids around.

I would put $$ on Posada resigning. I just don't see him leaving. I would be shocked if Mo doesn't come back--Cashman will offer him a bunch of $ to soothe his ego, which is clearly slightly bruised.

I think Andy will come back too, especially if it is Girardi or Mattingly. Remember, all three of those guys played with both of them, so its not like they would be playing for some random manager or even betraying Joe, who isn't going to be fired but merely not renewed.

2007-10-09 09:56:18
92.   Bama Yankee
89 Your scenario is even more frightening than what I had dreamed up...
2007-10-09 09:56:55
93.   SF Yanks
Hey what time do the Yanks play tonight? I don't see it listed on the sidebar or anywhere for that matter. I had this horrible dream last night that the Yanks got elimin.... nevermind, I don't even want to mention it. Anyways, we'll get em tonight. Go Yanks!
2007-10-09 09:58:15
94.   Zack
Oh, and add to that, that with the way everything has gone down this year, I would be SHOCKED if A-Rod doesn't stay. He'll take a big extension and be the centerpiece of the new regime.

All of his quotes of late really hint at wanting to stay.

2007-10-09 10:01:29
95.   Bama Yankee
93 Today's a travel day, we'll get em tomorrow, SF Yanks...

(shhhhh, don't spoil it for him. Let's just let him dream for a while... )

2007-10-09 10:02:02
96.   Zack
And, it wouldn't shock me to see the Yankees put together a package for Santana. Seriously, a combination of Tabata, Kennedy, Betences, Melky, and Ohlendorf? Heck, much as I would hate it, if the Yanks traded Hughes too, you can't really argue against it. Its as known a commodity as you can get...
2007-10-09 10:06:38
97.   Shaun P
96 Perhaps, but a known commodity with an awful lot of mileage on his arm from the last 5 years - who had a down year for him this past season.

Even Koufax could only be Koufax for so long. The list of guys who throw that hard and pitch that well for that long is very, very small.

I think trading for Santana is a mistake. Too much uncertainly + way too much money in an extension + way too many prospects given up.

Besides, that's the bad old days. We're in the good new days, the build from within.

2007-10-09 10:07:23
98.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Maybe we can get Manny Acta from Washington. I'd take him in a heartbeat. (Almost) anyone but TLR.
2007-10-09 10:13:21
99.   weeping for brunnhilde
97 Agreed. I think we should live and die with our kids. Use trades to round out the roster, sure, but I don't think our future lies in blockbuster trades. Give the kids time to develop.
2007-10-09 10:15:15
100.   SF Yanks
95 Thanks Bama, that dream messed everything up as I thought they were playing tonight. That damn dream feels so real though...hmmm...

96 That's way too much for my liking.... Alright, I just made a huge list of players I wanted to keep and a list of players I thought would be good to trade in a deal for Santana, then I realized... it's Santana we're talking about. Although, I really, really would like to hang on to Hughes and Joba if we could.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-10-09 10:25:23
101.   Rob Middletown CT
No to trading the kids. Patience, damn you!
2007-10-09 10:34:28
102.   Zack
97 Santana doesn't throw all that hard is the thing. He usually "sits" in the Hughes range. its that his location is +++ as are his breaking pitches. He's a complete pitcher, and, innings or not, if his "down year" is to the tune of a 3.33 era and a whip of 1.07 with 235 ks, Ill take it. As great as Hughes might be, and it would kill me to lose him, he'll only be, at best, another Santana...
2007-10-09 10:34:53
103.   weeping for brunnhilde
100 I know it's Santana, but I prefer the prospect of giving our own guys the chance to become Santana.

So much sweeter that way...

2007-10-09 10:37:03
104.   Zack
Look, the beauty of what Cahsman and Oppenhiemer have been able to do is that the Yanks could lose that ENTIRE list, and still have a good farm system. Of course, if you throw in Hughes, you don't give up more than one other player. The Mets can't match what the Yanks can offer, and honestly, no one can. The Sox could offer Ellisbury and Buchholz, but a) they won't, and b) a package of tabata and Hughes would be far superior to that...

I don't want to see the kids go either, but Santana is entering his prime and is the best pitcher in baseball and has done it in the AL

2007-10-09 10:38:27
105.   Mattpat11
104 In the AL in that ballpark.
2007-10-09 10:38:48
106.   Zack
Don't get me wrong, I obviously would love to get Santana without giving up Hughes/Tabata, but I doubt that would be possible the way the Yanks get continuously hosed by other GMs. Its just that, the chances of ANY prospect in the game right now developing into a Santana is pretty much nil...He's that good
2007-10-09 10:39:17
107.   Zack
And I would say go after CC, but after this season, he's staying in Cleveland
2007-10-09 10:54:28
108.   JL25and3
97 The Hall of Fame is full of guys who threw very hard for a long time.
2007-10-09 10:55:02
109.   claybeez
Cliff, Alex, Emma and Will another thank you for sharing your observations, analysis, research and creativity on this great blog. Emma I hope you will be around for a while. I really dig your style.

I for one will watch more baseball this season. I grew up on the game. I love the game. And I'll be happy to watch more of it before the cold sets in and my attention turns to the Skins, U of MD hoops and FC Barcelona. Plus, the DBacks, Rockies and Indians play exciting, energized baseball. Sign me up.

As for the changes, I'm not sure which ones we need or don't. It's tough to watch stars and superstars grow tight and underachieve year after year. It's easier to watch good, solid players overachieve. It doesn't mean I know which is better, just that the former is more painful.

Torre has been great in many ways, most of which I will probably never know. Still, there may be someone else out there ready to lead and to bring in a new dynamic more suited to this current team. I just don't know.

I do think some change could be good. I keep thinking how I wouldn't mind replacing Abreu. Yes, I know his numbers and the success he had after the brutal start. Still, I'm concerned he won't get any better. And, honestly, I'm tired of his intermittent hustling particularly in RF. If you're going to hustle, then hustle. No eyewash, please. I do like him. I'm just not opposed to finding someone else if there's anyone to be found. That goes for JD too (not the hustle part, maybe the lazy off-season part, though).

I think if we come back with the same team we'll have similar results. Yet, if we lose Andy, Alex, Bobby, Mo and JoPo we're sure to have worse ones. I'm optimistic about the future, but not '08. I hope it's just the sadness talking, but, I wouldn't be shocked to see us miss the playoffs.

2007-10-09 10:59:32
110.   JL25and3
97 I'd also say that Hughes, at 21, is much more of an injury risk than Santana is, simply because that's the nature of very young pitchers.
2007-10-09 11:07:34
111.   Bob B
I find I cannot fail to put in my 2 Cents worth. I think both Cashman and Torre should go. While a lot of Tampa meddling went into some terrible pickups (Randy Johnson, Jason Giambi, Kevin Brown, and letting Andy Pettite go) we owe Kei Igawa, Carl Pavano (may his name never be mentioned again), Kyle Farnsworth and re-signing Mike Mussina to Cash and he should go. Replace him with Stick and Buck. Two of the best judges of talent around. Buck should never manage again but he'll always be a great GM.
Torre could conceivably go down as a HOF manager but even Casey Stengal got the boot after a period of not achieving. While this year may have been one of his best jobs managing, I think it's time for a change. Hire Girardi! Not LaRussa (god forbid) or Mattingly (no experience, not very smart either).
Re-sign A-rod. That's a no-brainer. He's the best player in baseball and he finally felt comfortable here. You got a new stadium in one year-We'll end up calling it the house that A-rod built.
All the outfield should be up for sale or trade. Matsui is injured a lot now, Melky is young but wouldn't you rather have Tori Hunter? Damon, he wants to go somewhere and play every day. Good. Trade him and his salary. Pick up the option on Abreau and trade him, too. Get young and fast in the outfield.
The infield in pretty solid. Re-sign Posada and Molina and platoon Jorge at First base with Minky. Bite the bullet and let Giambi die. I've hated him since day one and not just because he came in after Tino but because he can't field and he's too stupid to lay down a bunt down the third baseline when the third baseman is playing behind the bag at second base. He's Barely a one dimensional player. The rest of the infield is solid but not spectacular. Maybe A-rod should be playing SS but Jeter just keeps getting 200 hits and scoring 100+ runs year after boring year. Cano is solid and untouchable, nothing but upside for that kid.
Get Santana. Young gifted and lefty. Don't let anyone else get him. Start Hughes, IPK, Pettite, Joba and the Wanger (if you can't use him to get Santana). Get rid of the bullpen except for Mo. Mussina should be left for long relief. Maybe Villone could stay but the rest of those losers suck starting with he who should not be named (initials KF).
Its a start anyway.
2007-10-09 11:08:04
112.   SF Yanks
Here's interesting article on the Yankees division series. While I don't agree with everything like Mo, Po, Bobby, and ARod all leaving, I do agree that Wang deserves most of the blame for the losses IMHO.

http://tinyurl.com/2swq63

2007-10-09 11:13:57
113.   Hudsonguy
My compliments to Bronx Banter for a great job--you made the season a lot more fun.

I wonder if I could trouble you all with a baseball question. In a game with the entire season on the line and the bases loaded and nobody out, why not bring in Mariano at that point, even if it's the 2nd or 3rd inning? I mean, what are we saving him for? I suppose this question could be asked about the use of closers generally--why not in the direst situation rather than merely (and exclusively) at the end? But especially when everything is at stake, as vs Cleveland. Many thanks for any guidance on this.

2007-10-09 11:17:04
114.   SF Yanks
111 How about we move the team to Ireland while we're at it. Actually, to save money, lets get rid of Jeter too. We'll put ARod half way between 3rd and short. And who needs those outfielders anyway? Lets throw Will Nieves and and get Bubba Crosby back and just have the two of them run around out there. And we'll just get a backstop for Hughes to throw to.

Alright, I took it a bit far, and I agree with you on a lot, but thats an awful lot of change to make.

2007-10-09 11:20:30
115.   Bob B
114 Yes, it is a lot of changes but aren't you getting bored with one and out?
2007-10-09 11:34:28
116.   monkeypants
111 115 Any plan that for the team getting "young and fast" in the OF by getting rid of Melky for Torii Hunter is rather suspect.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Sanatna under contract next year? So how, precisely, will the Yankees prevent the Twins from trading him where they want to? Unless, of course, they trade away some of your proposed starting rotation (and that means more than just Wang).

Also, Pettitte may retire--he has a player option, so not much your plan can do about that.

However, I do like the part about Mattingly being "not very smart." That's good to know, and hopefully the new brass (which will replace Cashman, in your scenario) recognizes his intellectual limitations.

2007-10-09 11:34:44
117.   Eric
114 Steve Goldman has often written about using your best reliever in the most important situation, instead of just using him in a conventional "save" situation.
2007-10-09 11:35:34
118.   OldYanksFan
57 "It's as if the first 60 games don't matter."
I don't mean to be offensive, but how could anyone in their right mind come to that deduction? When people make statements like this, or that 'Torre doen't care' or 'playing with house money', I feel it's EXTREMELY insulting to Joe. He is being paid $7m/yr, and is there everyday to account to the FO, media, players abd fans. You think YOU care more about how the Yankees do then Joe Torre???? This man cries when accounting the accomplishments of his 'boys'. You think he EVER doesn't care???
2007-10-09 11:37:33
119.   SF Yanks
The Yanks of the future right here:

LF - Jackson
CF - Melky
RF - Tabata
3B - ARod
SS - Jeter
2B - Cano
1B - Miranda, Jorgie
C - Montero, Molina

SP - Wang
SP - Hughes
SP - Joba
SP - Kennedy
SP - Horne/Brackman/Dellin/whoever (just 1)

CL - Mo (Sanchez?)
RP - Ohlendorf
RP - Melancon
RP - J.B Cox
RP - Whelan
RP - Garcia

B - Betemit
B - Sardinha
B - Gardner
B - Battle

Not exact but is it even possible to get something close to this? This is a straight up home grown team, and 25 home grown guys probably isn't possible but I wonder how close the Yankees could/ will ever come to it.

2007-10-09 11:37:58
120.   SF Yanks
119 With the exception of ARod and maybe Wang.
2007-10-09 11:45:41
121.   Max
An endless number of changes will be discussed over the next few weeks and offseason, but one question I'm still really trying to understand is: what does it mean for a team to be "built for the playoffs", considering that the Yankees are the only playoff repeater this year?

Does it mean that we have to miss the playoffs periodically in order to be "built to win" in the years that we do make it, because we would have the opportunity to build pitching depth through the draft? The White Sox looked great two years ago, the Tigers looked pretty good last year, yet what was it about them that made them "built to win"? Presumably it was the pitching, but it doesn't seem they've experienced any sustained success. Is this the price of parity these days?

Just thinking out loud -- because I'm baffled that for 3 years running, we've had a terrific second half of the season, only to see it all come undone within a week each year. And now Joe is being blamed for not adequately motivating the team to start each season, rather than being credited for getting them to the playoffs under adverse circumstances (most notably thin pitching for about 3 years running, which is Cashman's beat).

In the meantime, the Red Sox, who floundered after building their big lead this year and played just OK ball for most of the second half, are now being hailed as smart and "built to win". There's a lot of hindsight analysis going on right now that's making it difficult for me to understand what really needs to be done, apart from purely reactionary moves ("Dump Farns!" "Trade Melky!" "Get Damon's Ass out of Town!")

2007-10-09 11:49:04
122.   51cq24
all i know about mattingly (as a manager) is that he managed well in that one game when torre was suspended. and that it would be very tough to see him get fired next year, even if he deserves it as joe does.

this is my no trade list: joba, hughes, cano, wang (remember how bad pettitte's 1997 postseason was? not quite this bad, but let's not completely overreact), derek.

this is my bring back list: mariano, posada.

this is my please trade even if we have to pay almost the entire salary list: giambi, damon.

as for arod, there's no question his value cannot be replaced at third base. but that doesn't mean that his overall value can't be compensated with better pitching and maybe even more consistent contact hitting. i for one don't forget that we had no players even approaching his stardom 10 years ago, yet still got better offensive production against great playoff pitchers. it's not necessarily true that we would be better off without him, but if he's going to opt out, i say fuck him.

2007-10-09 11:50:30
123.   OldYanksFan
78 OK. Please name other clubs with #3s with better numbers then Wang. Maybe then the #2s.

Wang is NOT dominant. Of 14 AL teams, he was tied for 13th in ERA. Baltimore, Cleveland and LA has 2 pitches each that were better. 7 other teams has 1 pitcher better. 3 teams had no pitchers better.

So, maybe (depending of how you define an 'ace' or a '#1 starter'), Wang is near/at the bottom of the #1 barrel. So maybe he's a 1-1.5. How team defense enters into this may alter this slightly. But a #3? Are you sure this isn't just his bad PS talking?

2007-10-09 11:51:20
124.   Mike T
Don't know if this has been posted yet. It's from SI.com:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/tom_verducci/10/09/monday.cuts/index.html

5. Here's all you need to know about why the Yankees are 4-13 in their past 17 postseason games: In that stretch their starting pitchers are 2-8 with a 6.36 ERA while averaging 4 2/3 innings per start. Two wins from starting pitchers in 17 games, none in which they completed seven innings. The lack of pitchers who can give them length or the ability to strike out batters -- they averaged 5.9 strikeouts per nine innings -- has killed New York more than anything else.

2007-10-09 11:52:42
125.   SF Yanks
I'm not that big on trading Damon. His only weakness seams to be his arm. He can be pretty damn useful, especially if he starts the season off strong. Now if only he didn't cost so much....
2007-10-09 11:54:47
126.   51cq24
125 i'm very worried about him going into next year. he looked old and done at the beginning of this year, and although he did a great job at the end of the year and in the postseason, i don't know if he really fits this team anymore. is he really a corner outfielder with his arm? is he really a dh?
2007-10-09 11:56:41
127.   rbj
118 I wasn't meaning to be insulting. FWIW I think Torre has been a very good manager for this team. What I'm saying is that he takes the first part of the season to see who can do what. Heck, Terence Long was brought in to play second base, so even though it was quickly apparent he was no good, Torre stuck with him just to see if it wasn't an extended slum.

I think the team has the mentality of "don't panic, of course we'll be in the post season." While it's good to have that confidence, the negative side of it is that you can get complacent and wait for your opportunities rather than make things happen. That leads to quick exits in the post season.

2007-10-09 11:59:09
128.   SF Yanks
I think Posada is being over-looked here. Remember Joba's passed ball which was a strike out? All Jorge had to do was throw the ball on a straight line to the first baseman. Instead he threw it over his head. I'm a little fuzzy on the details but I believe that led to the winning or tying run. If he throws it straight, we win game 2 and we aren't sitting here talking about 2008. Something as little as tossing the ball straight (something he does about 150 times every day) blew our chances.
2007-10-09 12:01:43
129.   51cq24
128 it was mariano against sizemore and the run didn't score, but it was particularly ugly. he does it a lot.
2007-10-09 12:02:16
130.   51cq24
miss balls in his glove, i mean.
2007-10-09 12:04:38
131.   OldYanksFan
This is nuts, and I don't really want it, but Bonds could be a monster in Yankee Stadium. And love him or hate him, he would fill seats. He played 75% of games this year, and in the OF, and didn't go down to injury. As a DH, he could play 90%+ of the games. Again, I don't necessary want him, but it would be fun in a sick kind of way.

I think ARod will stay. I hope he does. If he does not, with 2008 being Manny's last year, the Sox will out bid everyone.

I think ARod would post huge numbers at Fenway. I think it would tip the balance of power towards the Sox for a number of years. SS has been their most problematic position since Garciapara.

ARod on the Red Sox would be an unfathomable nightmare. Just typing this is making me sick! Keeping ARod from the Sox is almost as good a reason to resign him as just resigning him because he is great and irreplaceable.

2007-10-09 12:05:21
132.   E-Rocker
This is totally off topic but I just wanted to say that I really can't stand Peter Gammons. I just happened to be on espn.com and see a story titled "The Good news for the Red Sox is bad news for everyone else: Manny has taken his game to a new level this October." I really can't stand this amount of bias from a "Hall of Fame" reporter.

That's it. Oh, and Joe T., thanks for the memories. You were the best. But I think you should go out a Yankee and enjoy retirement.

Bring on Joe G.

2007-10-09 12:06:42
133.   51cq24
mike and the mad dog are talking to cashman now
2007-10-09 12:08:19
134.   SF Yanks
129 Are you sure it didn't lead to a run? It's sticking in my head like one did. I have to look this up now, because there is such a negative emotion attached to that play in my head. I'm not talking about a run scoring on that play, but rather one later on in the inning.
2007-10-09 12:11:07
135.   51cq24
134 positive. it led to a very sticky situation after a supposed hit batsman later in the inning, but mo got out of it with a strike out with the bases loaded and 1 out and then a ground out or popup.
2007-10-09 12:11:23
136.   Jersey
131 Ha...It hadn't occurred to me once to pick up Bonds. The numbers he might put up as a DH are mouth-watering...but it would take some long, hard work to get used to cheering for him. Plus, I don't know if I could handle Giambi AND Bonds on the same team. ;)
2007-10-09 12:11:44
137.   51cq24
only runs that scored in that game for cleveland were the bug run and the viz run.
2007-10-09 12:15:10
138.   51cq24
135 i was wrong it was bases loaded and 2 outs and the k ended the inning.
2007-10-09 12:17:41
139.   SF Yanks
131 I know I'm the only one who thinks this (because of where I live) but I would not mind seeing Bonds go to the Yanks. Especially if we got rid of Giambi, and/or Matsui/Damon/Abreu or some combination of the 4. I don't hate the guy as everyone here does, and in fact I really like him. I don't want to get into the steroid aspect of it but living in San Fran gives a different emotion for the guy than the rest of America. That, and he went to both my High school and college and I feel sort of a connection because of it. He use to come to our high school football games and such. He could be a force at Yankee stadium and that's something I would enjoy watching. I know I'm alone in this, and that's fine with me.
2007-10-09 12:17:59
140.   Eric
133 As usual he's saying nothing. I've never heard someone as longwinded as Cashman and say so little.
2007-10-09 12:20:11
141.   ChrisS
There's a lot of things that are going to happen this off-season. I think it's time for a change in management - thought it in 2004, too. Giradi is an excellent choice for a new manager. The pitching staff management has been painful to watch this year. It was nice for Hughes to get his feet wet in the PS in garbage time, but it kinda came back to bite them in the ass later on, I think. Clemens should have never started Game 3.

I'm mostly ambivalent, but if they were to trade an OFer, I'd rather it be Matsui, whose penchent for weak groundballs to 2nd is getting tiresome, as his poor defense. I know that I would never think that previous to this year, but Matsui might command a bit more in the trade. I don't think either should be DHing. But, I'm not really concerned with the OF.

Next year's staff will be nice, maybe some rough patches, but I think with such a young projected staff, it would be nice to promote Dave Eiland to pitching coach if/when Giradi comes on board. Resign Mo and Po, keep Andy & A-rod if possible, and I'm pretty happy. There's no reason to go selling the farm for Santana or Torii Hunter for godsakes.

Thanks to Alex, Cliff, Emma, and Will for posting great reading and keeping the banter bantering. Although, if OldYanksFan had his way we should all just sit down and stop posting, unless it's a compliment to Joe Torre. It'll be interesting to see how the silly season plays out nonetheless.

2007-10-09 12:21:40
142.   51cq24
bonds might be a force at yankee stadium. but do any of us really want to deal with the yankees signing yet another aging, steroid-infested superstar? i definitely don't.
2007-10-09 12:22:28
143.   SF Yanks
135 Hmmm... alright. I'll take your word for it. I don't know how to look it up anyway. I don't really know how to use baseball-reference. That site is so damn confusing, albeit fantastic. I got most of the basics down for players and such but not when it comes to games.
2007-10-09 12:26:54
144.   51cq24
140 and as usual, they are repeating the same question over and over, when they know he just can't answer it right now.
2007-10-09 12:29:53
145.   Eric
144 they've asked him 3 times if he will fight for Joe Torre's job and he said is it fair for me to tell you what I'm thinking before I speak to ownership.
2007-10-09 12:32:30
146.   jedi
Who would be against putting Wang on the trading block instead of Hughes or a Kennedyto get someone like Santana . I think Wang has more trade value at this point because of his back to back 19 win seasons. Teams would seriously overlook his playoff career just to get 19 wins every year from one pitcher. In that case, if the twins dont bite maybe someone else can. We need a lefty. How about a Kazmir (proven Red Sox killer) type of player. High strikeout, lefty and Young.

I know this is like Javier Vasquez banishment, but I wouldnt mind letting go of Wang at this point. Don't get me wrong, the guy really put alot on himself to carry this rotation, but I just dont see him being part of this staff in the long term the way he cracks when he can't get a ball down in the zone. That's not something a #1 start should be about. That's more like #5 stuff.

2007-10-09 12:34:44
147.   Eric
146 Kazmir is much better than Wang, and most people realize that. Sorry, no go on that trade. Try again.
2007-10-09 12:36:13
148.   cult of basebaal
pass on hunter and his ageing turf knees.

bite the bullet (and the cash), trade giambi to the angels for something ... probably won't get much, but we've got a logjam of people who need the DH slot and the Big G is the least versatile.

put damon in LF and spell him on occasion with Matsui. Damon and Cabrera give us a above-average 2/3rds of a defensive outfield. Matsui is NOT a viable starting outfielder anymore, being well below average in every defensive metric i've seen. young pitchers need the all the help they can get, fielding a team that can field well is important next year.

of course, the biggest thing we could do to that end is move jeter, but i think that will take another year as defensively bad as this one before the whispers get loud enough to make it even a slight possibility

anyways ... matsui is the primary DH, coming out to spell damon on occasion ... Spelling Bee gets the door, replaced at first with betemit to start the season ... if betemit proves he can't hit lefties (as has been the case in limited exposure) ... 1st becomes a platoon with duncan ...

bring abreu back on the 1 year option ... what happens in RF in 2009 depends a lot on how tabata and jackson and duncan look and develop in 2008

the biggest changes have to occur in the pitching staff, especially the bullpen ...

2007-10-09 12:39:00
149.   JL25and3
131 I think Rodriguez will stay in NY. But if he doesn't, he'd be absolutely, completely insane to go to Boston.
2007-10-09 12:42:19
150.   YankeeInMichigan
Having just completed his age-28 season, Johann Santana is, far and away, the best player in baseball. Seven years ago, we were saying the same thing about Pedro Martinez. Santana is in a position to demand the richest contract ever given to a pitcher, perhaps 7 years at 22 million. Had someone given that contract to Pedro after 2000, he would have gotten one Cy Young-quality season (2002), two ace-quality seasons (2003, 2005), one up-and-down season (2004), one great half-season (2001), one frustrating season (2006) and one almost-no-season (2007). No thanks. I'll stick with the kids.

Besides, the Twins will probably be demanding a young center fielder and a young pitcher. While the Yankees have the latter, they have no one to fill Melky's shoes. And please don't suggest any more long-term free agent contracts to over-30 center fielders.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-10-09 12:47:08
151.   cult of basebaal
oh ... and resign molina, if jorge comes back, he's going to increasingly need time off to stay fresh ... molina's the best backup we've had since posada was backing up girardi ... i'm tired of the sal fasanos and wil nieves of the world
2007-10-09 12:48:03
152.   YankeeInMichigan
148 Matsui still positions himself for a quick release better than any outfielder in baseball. He compensates for his physical limitations with sound fundamentals. Regardless, Damon is still the better every-day left fielder.
2007-10-09 12:50:16
153.   YankeeInMichigan
150 Interestingly, the one team that I can see putting together a package for Santana is the Tigers, i.e. Maybin plus Miller (the Twins' choice), Bonderman (the Tigers' choice) or Jurrjens (a possible compromise). Pretty gutsy for an intra-divisional trade.
2007-10-09 12:51:51
154.   Eric
Is Mussina's contract guaranteed next year or an option?
2007-10-09 12:55:03
155.   JL25and3
154 Guaranteed.
2007-10-09 13:00:49
156.   51cq24
146 you can say about almost any pitcher that if their stuff isn't working he gets shelled. if wang's stuff isn't sinking he usually gets shelled. yet he's won a ton of games for us and hardly ever gets shelled. i believe there is room for both wang and hughes. as nice as it would be to have santana, i'd be willing to pass on him right now. starting pitching is not going to be our main need in the coming years.
2007-10-09 13:01:28
157.   JL25and3
151 I agree - but keep in mind that Molina was hitting way, way over his head with the Yankees. He'll always be better than Nieves, but probably not as good as Flaherty's first couple of years in NY.
2007-10-09 13:01:38
158.   51cq24
156 if HIS stuff isn't working

remember, in the years to come, he will not have to be our ace.

2007-10-09 13:02:27
159.   Shaun P
108 True, but there are only 59 pitchers in the Hall of Fame, and over 15000 people have played in the majors (at least as of May 2000 according to this: http://tinyurl.com/28b5w7).

I'm not liking those odds.

110 The devil you can control - Hughes' injury risk going forward - versus the devil you can't - damage Santana might already have done.

106 Don't forget the cost dimension to this.

Cost of Hughes over the next 3 years:

$1.5M

Cost of Santana over the next 3 years (assuming Yanks trade for him this offseason, assume last year of his current deal and sign him to an extension at $20M/year):

$53.25M

And that doesn't even factor in the money needed to replace the valuable guys traded away. Or the 40% luxury tax payment.

You know how the Yanks can definitely afford to pay A-Rod (and Mo and Posada) this offseason? This year, the Yanks spent over $60M on the rotation (including Pavano, Igawa, and change to all the kids who came up). By 2009, the Yanks starting rotation could cost them less than TEN MILLION DOLLARS. Joba, Hughes, Kennedy, and ____ (Horne?) will all cost around $500K each, and Wang is probably going to be around $7M or so.

Can you imagine what Cashman (or anyone with good sense) could do if he had $140M to spend JUST ON HITTERS?

2007-10-09 13:14:04
160.   YankeeInMichigan
123 I would say that an "ace" is a pitcher who gives his team a good chance to win just about every 5 days. I was thinking of some quick-and-dirty metric, such as 80% quality starts. Nah ... probably not worth posting.

But I just peaked at baseballprospectus.com, and saw a new metric, SNLVAR-adjusted quality starts: http://tinyurl.com/yp5a9f
Surprisingly, no one in the majors hits the 80% threshold. Smoltz is tops at 78.1%. Wang is at 70.0% (21 of 30), tied for 6th in the AL (with Escobar, behind Bedard, Sabathia, Beckett and Meche). So while Wang's high points were not as high Santana, Carmona, Lackey or Verlander, he demonstrated ace-like consistency more than any of the above.

2007-10-09 13:19:27
161.   cult of basebaal
152 he takes some of the worst routes to balls, especially those that require him to go back, that i've seen

157 wow ... i had forgotten how well flaherty actually hit those 1st 2 seasons

2007-10-09 13:19:36
162.   weeping for brunnhilde
131 You're kidding me, OYF, right?

We're talking about Barry Bonds here?

Please tell me you're joking.

2007-10-09 13:23:23
163.   Yankee Fan In Boston
162 yeah... i'd have to consider transferring my allegiances if they signed bonds. i love this team, but jeepers, i have my limits.
2007-10-09 13:24:14
164.   SF Yanks
In the AL Fausto Carmona has the lowest leading ERA+ at 145 since Dave Stieb has 145 in 1988.

(I'm figuring out baseball-refernece.com so I'll be coming up with interesting/stupid facts)

2007-10-09 13:25:21
165.   weeping for brunnhilde
146 With all due respect, jedi, couldn't disagree more.

I remember a game against Boston where he was able to negotiate the lineup by going to his slider when his sinker wasn't working, or maybe because they'd hit his sinker before.

I've seen him adapt and have tremendous faith that he'll continue to improve.

He's learning, give him time.

He may never be lights-out, but he doesn't need to be. He needs to be solid, capable of dominating, but able to gut it out. I've seen him gut it out enough times to believe it would be madness to trade him.

2007-10-09 13:27:31
166.   YankeeInMichigan
159 Why would Santana sign a 2-year @ 20 million extension? Barry Zito just signed for 7 years/126 million (averaging 18 million/year). By comparison, Santana should be worth 7 years @ 22 million (as I posted in 150 ).
2007-10-09 13:28:45
167.   weeping for brunnhilde
Beautiful friend, the end.
2007-10-09 13:30:59
168.   SF Yanks
Since 1951, 2007 marks only the second season where the AL ERA leader has a 3.0 or above. Cool.
2007-10-09 13:34:48
169.   YankeeInMichigan
159 2009 will spell salary relief, as Giambi, Mussina and Pavano will all come off the books. But 2008 will be an expensive one if they stick with A-Rod, Mo, Posada and Abreu (actually, if they extend A-Rod's contract, he'll be the cheepest of the bunch next year). I believe that Wang and Cano will be arbitration-eligible as "super 2s," so they will be getting 7 to 9 million as well.
2007-10-09 13:39:57
170.   weeping for brunnhilde
169 Giambi, Mussina and who?
2007-10-09 13:42:17
171.   SF Yanks
I don't know what the ERA+ numbers are like for "aces" but here are Wang's: 111, 121, 117. They're good, but are they great? Again, I'm not sure what the cutoff is considered for ace material. Maybe someone can chime in.
2007-10-09 13:42:37
172.   YankeeInMichigan
146 Re: Wang's playoff career. He was solid, though not spectacular, against the Tigers in Game 1 last year. He was superb in Game 2 in Anaheim (yes, on the road) in 2005, losing only because his infielders betrayed him with 3 errors (okay, one was his own). Granted, both of those games were against free-swinging teams, aginst whom he his more effective. But at this point, his 2007 post-season meltdown has to be viewed as an aberation.
2007-10-09 13:46:04
173.   weeping for brunnhilde
Wait, sorry, maybe I missed something...why does Wang need to be great?

Aren't we pleased enough that he's very good and (imo) will likely get better with age and experience?

2007-10-09 13:46:53
174.   Yankee Fan In Boston
170 i wish i could forget.

pass the scotch, please.

2007-10-09 13:47:54
175.   weeping for brunnhilde
174 Rocks or neat?
2007-10-09 13:48:31
176.   Yankee Fan In Boston
175 funnel. much obliged.
2007-10-09 13:51:23
177.   Yankee Fan In Boston
from peter abraham:
Statement from Howard J. Rubenstein, Spokesman for George M. Steinbrenner:

"George Steinbrenner is traveling back to his home in Tampa and will have no statement at this time."

so... i lost my decoder ring... is that "donnie" or "girardi"?

2007-10-09 13:57:44
178.   SF Yanks
173 He doesn't have to be great. Yes, I'm very pleased. I was just adding to the discussion earlier about him being an "ace". He's a fantastic pitcher who I hope stays with us for a long time. I'm just trying to figure out if under the textbook definition he's considered an ace or not. Not that I really care, but I'm bored with nothing much to talk about. If you want we can go play-by-play of our latest collapse. =)
2007-10-09 14:01:27
179.   Orly Yarly NoWai
If we sign Bonds, I'm giving up. He doesn't fill any needs we have; specifically, pitching and defense.
2007-10-09 14:04:02
180.   SF Yanks
179 He fills the need of attention. If ARod leaves, who will the reporters turn to? We need drama, we need craziness, we need Bonds!

Or not.

2007-10-09 14:06:22
181.   Orly Yarly NoWai
178 I don't see Wang as an ace, as much as it hurts to say. I love his GB tendencies (and cost!), but his lack of strikeouts is pretty infuriating. Without those Ks he's incredibly dependent on the team to pick him up on defense, and when that doesn't happen, well, we know the rest of the story.

Don't get me wrong, though, he's a valuable pitcher. He's just not, say, Brandon Webb.

2007-10-09 14:07:37
182.   Orly Yarly NoWai
180 Touche. Maybe we should sign Stephon Marbury as a pinch runner...
2007-10-09 14:08:37
183.   dianagramr
180

.... with Marion Jones as his new mistress ...

2007-10-09 14:11:47
184.   Shaun P
166 Of course Santana wouldn't sign a two-year extension. My point was, Hughes over his arb-eligible years is going to cost 1/50 what Santana would cost over the same time frame. Even if Hughes only returns 80 of the value on the field Santana does, the cost difference more than makes up for it. Many times over.

Having all these young pitchers (and a few young hitters) will allow the Yanks to pay top dollar for the top hitting talent they'll need to get from somewhere over the next few years. Because the far system is not exactly filled with hitting prospects, and the ones it has are at least two years away.

2007-10-09 14:15:44
185.   51cq24
if we need an attention-needer, i'd prefer bobby v and his fake mustache.
2007-10-09 14:17:53
186.   51cq24
ok aside from the cost difference between hughes/joba and santana, aren't there other fans out there who care about the perception of the team as one that buys whatever they need? isn't that what's so great about developing the talent from within (even though we still take advantage through the draft)?
2007-10-09 14:27:43
187.   YankeeInMichigan
186 Thank you. It's been a while since I've brought up this point, but it's an important one, especially for those of us living out of town. A few years ago, I could respond to the snide "best team money can buy" remarks by reminding the locals that the franchise most similar to the Yankees was the Red Wings, but now hockey has a salary cap.
2007-10-09 14:29:43
188.   Schteeve
Giambi is one of my favorite dudes in MLB, but the Yankees need to cut him loose, if for no other reason than the fact that they won't play him.

It's a crime that he only got 4 flipping PAs. Let him go. Keeping him is stupid.

2007-10-09 14:30:26
189.   YankeeInMichigan
186 Seeing the Comerica crowd go nuts for Zumaya last year brought back nostalgic memories of Guidry in '78. Now the Bronx faithful have Joba. There's nothing like it.
2007-10-09 14:33:31
190.   Schteeve
I'd feel much better if we go into next season with a rotation of

Joba
Hughes
Wang
Pettitte
Kennedy??

2007-10-09 14:36:42
191.   thelarmis
190 that is the rotation i envision. moose will be long man/swing man/spot starter/crotchety/etc.

we have no bullpen, 'specially if Mo goes. he can't go. he just...can't.

2007-10-09 14:37:05
192.   weeping for brunnhilde
181 Wang could become a strikeout pitcher. He's had games where he's struck out six or seven. I remember one game (probably the same one against Boston I referred to above) where his strikeout game (featuring more sliders) was his Plan B.

It was a very, very impressive Plan B.

Maybe he can't do it consistently, but he clearly has a lot of tools to work with, so I wouldn't put it past him.

2007-10-09 14:37:33
193.   weeping for brunnhilde
178 :)
2007-10-09 14:39:22
194.   Bama Yankee
186 I'm not sure the Yankees will ever overcome that perception (at least as long as we have a $200M payroll). However, I do agree with you to some extent about developing the talent from within.

That said, I would take Barry Bonds, Stephon Marbury and Marion Jones if they could bring us another WS title. I'm sick of the feeling I had this morning after another early postseason exit...

I know, I know, I'm just bitter. We don't need to panic and sign someone like Bonds. We are on the right track with the young guys... Right? We are on the right track aren't we? Uh, Cashman? Anybody? Bueller, Bueller? Is this thing on?

2007-10-09 14:49:48
195.   JL25and3
I couldn't care less about how other fans perceive the Yankees. Besides, no matter what, the Yankees are going to be rolling in homegrown players for the foreseeable future.

167 I didn't want your excellent Doors reference to pass by without being noted. Well played.

2007-10-09 14:50:03
196.   Schteeve
194 I think they are on the right track, but I've decided that the post season is small sample size luck influenced bullshit, and I'm not watching it anymore.
2007-10-09 14:55:32
197.   bbfan1
Zack "The Mets can't match what the Yanks can offer, and honestly, no one can. The Sox could offer Ellisbury and Buchholz, but a) they won't, and b) a package of tabata and Hughes would be far superior to that..."

Fans are funny. A talent evaluator you are not. I understand we all like to overestimate our own talent, but FAR superior? Even being a homer you must be high to make such a statement.

2007-10-09 15:00:59
198.   yankz
197 And you must have serious issues to read every single comment on a Yankees message board when the Red Sox are in the ALCS.

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I'd rather be a Yankee fan and not make the playoffs than be a Red Sox fan and watch them threepeat. You people are ridiculous.

2007-10-09 15:14:16
199.   standuptriple
177 I think it's code for "Wait until we can steal the most thunder from the rest of the teams still alive or take a shot at Boston, preferably both."
2007-10-09 15:34:28
200.   Bama Yankee
198 "I'd rather be a Yankee fan and not make the playoffs than be a Red Sox fan and watch them threepeat."

That's the quote of the day in my book, yankz.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-10-09 15:39:04
201.   Zack
197 Ahh, I suppose it works both ways. I would say you are out of your mind. Ellsbury has one thing going for him, hes fast. Very fast. So is Juan Pierre. Ellsbury doesn't walk, doesn't hit for power (thus his obp is entirely tied to his average), and may have had a great start to his ML career, but has only shown the ability to sustain a high average in 17 games at aa. Buchholz is riding off the success of his AA #s and his no hitter, much as Hughes did coming into this year. Tabata is so far younger than Ellsbury and has so much more upside (period, there is no discussion, ask any, ANY scout, talent evaluator, GM) that its not even close.

So I suppose you aren't the talent evaluator. Buccholz and Hughes might be close, but Tabata blows Ellsbury out of the water as a prospect, and you would have to be blind AND so overly biased to not see that...

2007-10-09 15:41:18
202.   Sarasota
anyone contemplating trading Hughes should be automatically stripped of their Yankees phandom and have their computer taken away. Bonds sucks.
2007-10-09 15:45:54
203.   Zack
150 Santana and Pedro aren't similar pitchers, so its not a fair comparison. Santana has never shown any sign of wear or injury, Pedro often did.

Just because a guy has been a stud doesn't mean they are doomed to injury/regress. There are lots and lots of pitchers to log 200 innings for years and years. Injuries are unpredictable, heck look at Hughes. Just b/c a pitcher is young doesn't mean they will avoid injuries, again, look at Hughes, look at Prior. Santana is fundamentally sound, his 3 pitches are all +++ (and his best pitch is his changeup, which doesn't stress the arm at all), and he hasn't shown a history of injury...

Look, like I said, Santana is the pitcher I think Hughes could be, if all goes well and in a perfect world. But Santana already IS that pitcher. I know we are all in love with the kids, I am too, but we have a lot of talent down there and not enough spots, and a 1-2 of Joba and Santana would be the best in the game, period.

2007-10-09 15:47:28
204.   Zack
202 Don't be ridiculous. Trading a prospect for a known quantity coming into their prime is the definition of smart baseball. Being a fan and running an organization a successfully are two different things...
2007-10-09 15:48:18
205.   Vandelay Industries
Yikes! Bonds? No thanks. We will have Arod to keep butts in seats.

I don't think there are any trades to be made. What can they do? Pick up Abreu and trade him? I doubt that. They won't trade Hughes or Kennedy, or any other pitcher for that matter. This post-season proved why we need more young guys in the rotation, not less.

That being said, I don't think any hitter should be safe if pitching is available on the market. Not Jeter, not Damon, not Cano, not anyone.

2007-10-09 15:48:20
206.   Sarasota
204 Hack
2007-10-09 15:50:07
207.   Orly Yarly NoWai
How does everyone expect Joba to start next year? He only pitched 112.1 innings this season; that limits him significantly.

192 If he can average seven Ks a game, then he's a legit ace. I'm just dubious that it'll happen.

2007-10-09 15:52:55
208.   Vandelay Industries
207 And in that case, given today's pitch count sillyness, who doesn't give the game away in innings six through eight? Farny? Ohlendorf? Veras? Viz? Nope.
2007-10-09 15:55:24
209.   Vandelay Industries
Chamberlain is a victim of circumstance. Papelbon is a starter, but won't ever start, and Joba is going to wind down the same path.
2007-10-09 15:57:16
210.   Sarasota
209 correct. Jaba stays in the pen.
2007-10-09 15:57:59
211.   Orly Yarly NoWai
208 Yes, the relief corps needs a bit of an overhaul. Hopefully Humberto Sanchez can provide some relief (note: this joke sucks) but I'm not particularly hopeful. It's a little too early to write off Ohlendorf, but the rest suck and we know that.

The problem with plugging Joba in as the number one coming out of camp is that he's going to pitch twice as many innings as he ever has before. I'm not terribly interested in seeing one of our top prospects wither on the vine with a series of crippling shoulder and arm surgeries.

2007-10-09 15:58:54
212.   Orly Yarly NoWai
208 209 God I hope not. (One thing Chamberlain has over Papelbon? Other pitches.)
2007-10-09 16:00:54
213.   51cq24
204 that's absurd. tell that to the giants. and is santana really coming into his prime, or is he just about to leave it? we don't know. i'd prefer to keep the 21 year old.

209 i don't think so. he's got the stuff to really dominate. let's see how he does in the rotation before assuming he sticks in the bullpen.

2007-10-09 16:03:21
214.   Vandelay Industries
212 I agree completely. I never argued it was the right decision, but rather the situation that circumstances will dictate.

I actually thought it would have been a very good idea to start Joba in Game four, but knew that would never ever happen.

2007-10-09 16:04:28
215.   51cq24
211 so what does this mean? no more starters? they have to begin sometime. i'm not against starting him in the bullpen and moving him into the rotation like liriano last year (hopefully without the result), but i do believe he'll be all right. we should be careful of arm injuries, but not so careful that we make wrong decisions.
2007-10-09 16:04:41
216.   Vandelay Industries
213 Agreed. I've seen far too many meltdowns from Santana. If you are going to trade your future ace, it better be for a Webb or a Peavy, not for a sometimes awful Santana.
2007-10-09 16:05:06
217.   Orly Yarly NoWai
214 Interesting idea... I just hope you're wrong.
2007-10-09 16:06:32
218.   Orly Yarly NoWai
215 They have to begin sometime, but that sometime should probably be June or July, not April.
2007-10-09 16:07:17
219.   51cq24
216 is this a joke?

214 i actually was thinking the same thing, but after seeing him obviously tire in the 8th inning of game 3, i don't think he was ready at the end of this season to all of the sudden start again. but i can't wait to see him start games next year.

2007-10-09 16:07:41
220.   Vandelay Industries
214 I just think you do what you have to in an elimination game, and Wang or Mike weren't going to get it done. Not this post-season at least, Wang wasn't right. It would never be done, because if it blows up, the blowback would be insane.
2007-10-09 16:08:33
221.   Vandelay Industries
219 No. Santana has issues.
2007-10-09 16:09:22
222.   51cq24
218 i agree, but what do you think we should do until then? give kei a 10th chance?
2007-10-09 16:10:15
223.   Vandelay Industries
That being said. Roger was the key, both psychologically and on the field. He came back early and that may have led to the injury, but we may miss the playoffs otherwise. If Roger could have pitched, I think we win, but it just wasn't in the cards.
2007-10-09 16:11:18
224.   Vandelay Industries
222 Aren't you forgetting Carl Pavano? Sorry. I had to say it.
2007-10-09 16:11:45
225.   51cq24
220 1 bad (awful) start meant that wang was definitely not right? i don't know about that. i trusted wang. and actually i thought he had a chance of settling down and pitching a decent game since he was actually getting ground balls (except for a bloop and a hr). i wonder if a better call on that "hit batsman" would have changed the entire game.
2007-10-09 16:14:39
226.   Vandelay Industries
225 Just felt it in my gut. Three days rest for the first time in his career, coming off a bad start. Parsing it doesn't matter now. I think we can all agree we didn't have the pitching to get it done, no matter who was going to go to the bump in game four.
2007-10-09 16:15:24
227.   Orly Yarly NoWai
First, Pettite needs to come back, or we're kinda skrooed. With Wang and Pettite holding down the first two spots, and Hughes at the three, I think we have enough between Kennedy, Mussina and a mixture of Karstens, Rasner, Clippard and, if necessary, Igawa to get through the first two months with Joba in relief.

I wish there was an easy answer on the FA market, but there isn't.

2007-10-09 16:16:59
228.   51cq24
227 that mixture really scares me, although i'm not against giving clippard a 2nd chance.
2007-10-09 16:17:52
229.   Orly Yarly NoWai
228 That mixture scares me too, but I see 2008 as a transition year anyway. Who knows? Maybe we can give Ohlendorf a spot start or two.
2007-10-09 16:28:08
230.   OldYanksFan
139 FWIW, I don't hate Bonds at all. I have tremendous respect for his abilities, and he has been railroaded by the press. I believe hundreds of players did steroids (a number have tested positive already, unlike Bonds) and to single one out while the rest get a relative pass, is wrong.

I think doing steroids is wrong, and Bonds has skewed the record books. It's a shame that he tarnished himself because he was one of the greatest players in modern baseball... but because of the steroids, I dont quite know how to rate him. He is a surly bastard, but with a bat in his hands, he is the most exciting baseplayer on earth.

2007-10-09 16:35:51
231.   yankz
Start Joba in game 4? After he had thrown about 40 pitches the night before, and about 30 pitches two nights before? What?
2007-10-09 16:45:38
232.   Orly Yarly NoWai
231 I think that meant taking Joba out of the pen after game one.
2007-10-09 16:47:56
233.   OldYanksFan
With all the great, young, CHEAP pitching talent we have, what's the obsession with Santana? Our #1 is nowhere near Santana, but barring injury, our #1-#5 should match up against any team in MLB.

If you took our team as it stands now, but had a healthy Hughes, Joba and IPK from day 1, we would have won over 100 games.

I can see getting an arm or 2 for the BP, but we may even have some kids for that. I think we should keep our team basically intact except for maybe the BP.

Also, as we saw in the PS, DougOut is not a bad option at 1st. His numbers don't stack up to other 1Bman's, but man is it great to see someone on our team taking away hits... as Jeter gives them up.

Also... the greatest thing about our winning in 1996-2000 was doing it with our own homegrown talent. Should we have traded Jetes, or Mo, or Po, or Bernie back in 1996 for some big name, slightly aged talent? Lets give our kids a crack and see what they can do. I think as is, with another arm or 2 in the BP, we have a great team next year.

2007-10-09 16:52:42
234.   Orly Yarly NoWai
233 Always assuming we get Mo, Po and Pettite back.
2007-10-09 16:55:21
235.   Mattpat11
And the thing that horrifies me almost more than anything else is I'm sure Farnsworth impressed someone last night and we'll never fucking dump him now.
2007-10-09 16:55:51
236.   C2Coke
Reality is kicking in today. It's kinda tough that my expected longer baseball season was cut short. And here comes the cold winter.

If it wasn't for Wang, the Yankees might not have entered the playoffs, then he almost (a big almost since the batters picked the wrong time yet again to get cold) single-handedly ended Yankees' postseason. A tough end to his third year but he has more chances to prove himself and erase his mistakes this year in the future.

Man, next year the Yankees might be the most different team compared to the past 5 years.

Alex and Cliff and rest of the newly added bloggers, thanks so much for this year. Fellow Banterers, surely we all agree Yankees and baseball wouldn't be the same anymore without this wonderful community! I will definitely stick around over the long winter!

2007-10-09 17:01:20
237.   Bob B
233 Because Santana is like a Sabathia or a Beckett.....a go-to Number 1 starter that we had every year from 1998-2001 whether it was Andy Pettite or Roger Clemons. A bunch of number 2 sorta number 3 pitchers might get you enough wins to get to the post season but in the post season you need pitching studs. That's been true forever. Look at the record books and you'll see that World Series are won by guys named Ford, Koufax, Gibson,Shitling(oops, sorry for the mispelling. THe fact is, since 2001 the Yankees have been searching for a Number 1 pitcher. Mussina spit the bit, Wanger couldn't measure up, Randy Johnson was....well what was he? No, What the Yankees need more than anything is a Number one pitcher and all the young talent can slipstream behind him.
2007-10-09 17:12:25
238.   Vandelay Industries
232 Yes. Why not use the best pitcher you have in the most important game of the year?
2007-10-09 17:14:02
239.   Vandelay Industries
237 Yes, but I'm not willing to trade away those same young pitchers for a guy like Santana who could go the way of Pedro in two years.
2007-10-09 17:17:20
240.   Mattpat11
233 I think its quite a stretch to call Pettitte or Yankee Roger a number one pitcher.
2007-10-09 17:39:32
241.   OldYanksFan
From PeteAbe:
"Scott Boras, meanwhile, is saying A-Rod wants to play until he's 45 and that he is worth billions (that's with a b) to a regional cable network. If he's staying, the Yankees are really going to have to pay."

Boras makes the snake in the Garden of eden look like a teddy bear.

2007-10-09 17:49:15
242.   cult of basebaal
241 and bud selig makes the same snake look like mother theresa. what of it? last time i checked the business of MLB wasn't a girl scout cookie fundraiser ...
2007-10-09 17:58:23
243.   BatgirlReneeNYC
Speaking of Arod- I apologize if this has already been posted, which it probably has since it's from Oct 1st. I don't normally read anything from espn but being the huge fan of Alex that I am, I found this to be an interesting article. Just thought I'd share it in case anyone missed it.

'King of Gotham?'
http://tinyurl.com/253z9s

2007-10-09 18:00:05
244.   Zack
Ok, people, stop with the Santana could be going the way of Pedro stuff. That's absurd. Joba and Hughes BOTH have more of an injury history than Santana does already. You can say all you want about Santana maybe getting hurt sometime between now and when he retires but there is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, to indicate he will. A guy who logs 200+ innings doesn't mean he is an injury waiting to happen per se--Honestly, if he was going to be hurt, it would have happened in 2004 when he jumped in IP. Since then hes been the model of consistency. Yeah, his was a down year this year, if you can call it that.

There are tons and tons of pitchers to log more innings than Santana has and been fine. And there are tons and tons of pitchers to log far less and get injured. What in the world would make you say that Santana is headed for an injury?

The dude is a stud. He's a #1. He is entering his PRIME. He will be an ace for 6-7 more years. You don't pass that up, period. I'm sorry, but a rotation that stars with Santana and moves on is better than one that doesn't, period.

And as for 213 , I don't see how the Giants fit into that conversation. Trading a prospect for a once in a generation pitcher in his prime is a no brainer, no matter the kid's potential. Hughes has shown that he might be good to great, Santana has PROVED that he is, in the AL, in a hitters park.

2007-10-09 18:09:41
245.   51cq24
244 i agree that santana is great. he's clearly the best pitcher there is right now. but that doesn't mean you trade your best prospect for him. and part of it is that i don't like the perception that the yankees go out and get everyone else's star players. let's make our own. shut up about santana he isn't coming here.
2007-10-09 18:15:58
246.   JL25and3
Yes, Santana could conceivably turn into Pedro. It's more likely that any of the young Yankee pitchers will turn into Nelson Liriano.
2007-10-09 18:16:38
247.   Shaun P
244 Actually, even though Santana is 29 next season, he may not be entering his prime. We may have already seen his prime. There is no pitching curve like there is for hitters. Pitchers are all over the map. The odds of Santana being an ace for 6-7 more years are just as great as the odds are of him imploding. There is no way to know, and the past is no sure guarantee of the future.

This is why projection systems do so much better projecting hitters than pitchers.

PS - The Metrodome has actually played as a slight pitchers park the last 2 years, a slight hitters park the 3 years before that, then slight pitchers again, then slight hitters park again. The last time the Dome was an extreme hitters park was 2000.

PPS - I love Santana, but I'd rather risk losing out on him and keep Hughes/the other prospects/and save the money.

But I'm done - I think this is approaching "dead horse" status.

2007-10-09 18:18:57
248.   Bob B
245 I'm not talking about trading pitching prospects for Santana, I'm saying Minnesota needs a centerfielder (Tori Hunter is gone)so Melky goes, They need another proven pitcher (Wang goes). If that's not enough you can throw in another outfielder (pick up Abreau's option and trade him too) or Matsui or Damon or all four and pay their salary so Minnesota can afford them. Then you'r pitching looks like this. Santana, Pettite (if he comes back)Phil Hughes,IPK and Joba. Since the kids will be on short innings Mussina becomes a long man out of the pen.
2007-10-09 18:23:39
249.   51cq24
248 it sounds like a good plan, but i really doubt that would be the best offer they could get for him. i do think that we should look into offers for melky.
2007-10-09 18:33:22
250.   monkeypants
237

"a go-to Number 1 starter that we had every year from 1998-2001 whether it was Andy Pettite or Roger Clemons."

This is a joke, right? Pettitte was a top 10 ERA pitcher only three times (1996, 1997, and 2005 for Houston); Clemens (not Clemons) was #2 in 2000 and # 9 in 2001. The closest thing the Yankees had to a shutdown #1 might have been Mussina in 200 and 2001.

No, the dynasty did not in because they had an "ace," but rather because they had a deep staff and BP, and scored a mountain of runs.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-10-09 18:41:15
251.   nick
250 great and underemphasized point; the dynasty rarely, had a #1 guy who was equal to their postseason opponent's #1--but they were rarely outmatched in the bullpen, and their #3 and #4 starters were generally better....

it'd take a lot of work to check this, but my sense is Yankee fans would agree--no?

2007-10-09 18:41:40
252.   alterity
248 Sorry, but there's no way the Twins don't get something better than that for Santana. He will almost certainly be moved by next year's break, but the Twins will get a grade A super duper pitching prospect (that the term the scouts use, you can look it up). Or two. Bank on it. There is no way they take a package of a no-hit (or low-hit) CF (and until Melky does something for an entire season, that's all he is), a good-but-not-great starter who is approaching arbitration, and an aging outfielder (regardless of how much money the Yankees pick up). They will want prospects. Real prospects. Ready to play and contribute now awesome prospects. Not middle relief prospects like Ohlendorf or back of the rotation prospects like Kennedy (he may become more than that, but that's the perception now). They'll want Hughes or Chamberlain. They might want Hughes AND Chamberlain. I wouldn't make that deal, but that's just an opinion.

As far as trading Hughes or any other prospect, well everyone should be available. For the right price. Everyone. Make the trades that make the team better. Don't hold onto guys just because they were brought up through the system. Hold onto them if they stand the best chance of making the team better. WHo cares what people think about the Yankees taking other teams stars? It all about the rings, and whatever collection of talent stands to brings the rings home is the talent that should be put on the field.

And finally, a question: why all the concern about spending money? People are acting like the Yankees need to save it in pitching so they can go after great hitters. Well, has anyone noticed that they already have great hitters? So what if they would have to spend to get Santana (not saying they should). I think that the last reason the Yanks should go with an all homegrown staff is because it's cheap. They are not the A's. They should go with the best they can get. Besides, the free agent pool has really sucked of late.

2007-10-09 18:49:24
253.   OldYanksFan
250 Sums it up. In the glory days we had:
a B to B+ SP
a B+ to A- RP
a B to B+ offense
a slightly above average defense

We didn't have the BEST in any one category, but had excellent in 3. Can you remember how many '6 inning games' we won because of Stanton / Nelson / Rivera?

I think our BP was a crucial key to it.

2007-10-09 18:51:39
254.   weeping for brunnhilde
195 Heh heh. :)

Cheers.

2007-10-09 18:54:06
255.   weeping for brunnhilde
198 It's funny. It'd never occur to me to visit a Red Sox blog.

That's not a slight or anything, it just literally would never occur to me.

2007-10-09 18:55:30
256.   monkeypants
253 You may underestimate the offense, which was at or near the top of the league in RS most years between 1996 and 2001.
2007-10-09 19:02:56
257.   weeping for brunnhilde
225 Excellent, excellent point. That call was pivotal. He may still have failed, but up to that point, I agree, I thought he might figure it out.
2007-10-09 19:09:00
258.   weeping for brunnhilde
230 Agreed. Bonds is something to watch, especially his batting eye, at least back when I watched him regularly in the early 2000s. Such plate disciplne was something to behold. Even the vaunted Giambi, who yes, has an excellent eye, can be fooled on that slider in the dirt, as we've seen lately. There was a stretch there where it seemed like Bonds never swung at a bad pitch, ever. He had one hittable pitch every couple of days and he'd hit it out. Unfuckingbelievable.

That said, I don't want him on my team. Alex, whom I've developed affection for, was too much of a circus act for me. No more of that.

I want high-quality players who fly under the radar.

2007-10-09 19:15:36
259.   weeping for brunnhilde
233 I agree with mattpat. Andy was good enough to have number 1 pitcher starts, but he could also get shelled.

Arizona, obviously, but also that Game 5 against Oakland. We scored something like 6 in the first inning, I thought we were home free, and Andy managed to make it interesting. We had like 6 or 8 runs early and Andy had to leave around the fifth having given back like 4. The pen (I remember Stanton, in particular) kept them at bay and we hung on.

But Andy was very vulnerable and it was scary.

2007-10-09 20:19:20
260.   Andre
Just to play devil's advocate, because I am sort of attached to all of our players and would hate to see any of the regulars go (except Farnsworth), in the last 2 years Boston has traded away 2 of the best prospects in baseball (Hanley Ramirez & Andy Marte) along with a kid who threw a no hitter (Anibal Sanchez). They got back Josh Beckett & Mike Lowell. Hanley Ramirez has been phenomenal for the Marlins. Does anyone feel like the Sox made a bad deal? I hate Beckett, but it's hard to argue with the trade based on this year. True, trading pitching for pitching is risky, but maybe it needs to be done (Hughes for Santana).

Personally, I still don't want Hughes to be traded for anyone, but that Sox trade does make me pause a bit. After the last 7 years, I wonder if I have a gut reaction against FA signings. Sox were going through the same thing as the Yanks for the past 3 or 4 years (buy now, ignore the farm, etc.) but they've turned that philosophy around, brought up a bunch of youngsters, and yet they still made that trade.

2007-10-09 20:34:15
261.   OldYanksFan
In the 6 years from 1969 - 1974, the Baltimore Orioles made it to the PS 5 times with 2 WS crowns. Like the Yankee dynasty, this was a tremendously balanced team. Compared to the Yankees, they were probably stronger in pitching and defense, but not as strong on offense.

In that run, they had one year with four 20 game winners... lead by Jim Palmer. The offense was lead by Frank Robinson and the Boog, and incredible defense with Andy Etchebarren, Davey Johnson, Mark Belanger, and 2 guys who may have been the best ever at their position, Brooks and Paul Blair in CF.

This team was strong everywhere. I could simply not believe they lost to the Mets in '69... although you don't see too many pitching staffs with the likes of Seaver, Koosman, Tug McGraw and a kid named Nolan Ryan. They had 6 pitchers with ERA+s of 122 and above, and Seaver, Koosman and McGraw were at 166, 161 and 164 respectively.

So absolute dominant pitching in the top 3 spots might win everytime, but dynasties seem to be built on overall balance.

Because we favor offense so, I don't know if we will ever have a very strong defense. Next year we should have excellent pitching, and if there is not much attrition (ARod), a top offensive lineup. If we can find 2 more BP arms to go with Mo and Viz, 2008 should be our strongest team this century.

2007-10-09 20:46:06
262.   OldYanksFan
260 Like the Yankees of 2002-2005, the Sox sold their future for what might put them over the top today. I guess it depends on if their farm is strong enough to fill in the loses made by those trades.

If they go all the way this year, its hard to argue with results. Add in that they also have big dollars for payroll, they may be OK with what they did. But I don't think you want to do that too many years in a row.

The only 2 real impact guys I can think of who we lost were Sori and Nick the Stick. Sori turned into ARod (who costs us less now then Sori costs the Cubs) and Nick can't seem to stay healthy for a full season... although I'd love to have him. Juan Rivera? Decent, but no star. Navarro? Claussen (remember him)? Going back to Lowell and McGriff, who have we traded that turned out to be a real loss?

2007-10-09 20:56:43
263.   cult of basebaal
262 once again, i blame everything on nick johnson ... if only that fucker could have stayed healthy
2007-10-09 21:14:56
264.   Zack
262 I would actually disagree about the Sox trading away their future. Lowell is old and Crisp has stunk, but Beckett and Crisp are both young. They lost Sanchez and Ramirez, but they still look to have a starting staff next year of Beckett, Dice-K, Buchholz, Lester, someone else. That's a very young rotation. In their lineup, they'll have Crisp, Ellsbury, Drew, Lugo, Youk, Pedroia, Tek, Lowell? Manny, Ortiz. Tek, Lowell, Manny and Ortiz are all getting up there and Lugo, Drew and Crisp aren't that good, but they have a relatively young team overall. Plus they have some young arms in the Bp.

Where I will agree with you is that the Sox don't have much in reserve. Their lineup next year is pretty much all of their talent, the rest being far away. So it works both ways...

2007-10-09 21:17:06
265.   yankz
264 Um, what? You're not some talent evaluator. ;)
2007-10-09 22:11:37
266.   51cq24
i just want to address the surprising opinion that re-signing mariano shouldn't be one of our top priorities (i think it should be #1, especially considering the state of our bullpen without him). i just want to highlight some numbers, because just like winning can make us forget bad performances, losing can make us forget good ones.

here are mo's overall postseason numbers:
76 games, 117.1 innings pitched, 438 batters faced, 34 saves, 5 blown saves, 12 runs, 10 earned runs, 72 hits (2 hrs, 3 triples, 12 doubles, 55 singles), 16 bbs (3 intentional), 3 hit by pitch, 3 sac flies, 93 strikeouts, 3 wild pitches, 6 reached on errors
(that's a 0.77 era, 0.75 whip, 5.81 k/bb, .173 baa, .208 obpa, .231 slga)

and here are his numbers since his worst and most memorable appearance in 2001 game 7:
24 games, 38.1 innings pitched, 139 batters faced, 10 saves, 3 blown saves (all in 2004, and one (game 5 of alcs) was really gordon's), 3 runs, 3 earned runs, 20 hits (0hr, 1 triple, 3 doubles, 16 singles), 4 walks (1 intentional), 1 hit by pitch, 2 sac flies, 30 strikeouts, 0 wild pitches, 2 reached on errors
(that's a 0.70 era, 0.63 whip, 7.5 k/bb, .152 baa, .180 obpa, .189 slga)

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