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This, That and the Third
2007-11-19 05:59
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Mariano Rivera is still a free agent and so is Alex Rodriguez. However, both are expected to re-join the Yankees. Rodriguez will win his third AL MVP later this afternoon. Ah, the Magic number. It sure will be easier to appreciate his accomplishment now that it appears that Rodriguez is gunna stay with the Yankees.

Comments (81)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-11-19 06:27:25
1.   Raf
0 I thought "the Magic number" was going to link to the De La tune...
2007-11-19 06:34:46
2.   Alex Belth
Or the original Bob Dorough "Scoolhouse Rock" track...yeah, no such luck. Wish I had links to either of them.
2007-11-19 06:41:32
3.   Mattpat11
Lets not count chickens here. Wait til 2 before we announce the MVP. They still might give it to Morneau.
2007-11-19 07:03:23
4.   Sliced Bread
prediction: Lowell gets the MVP, and simultaneously, MLB announces Santa Claus is a Boston Red Sox fan.
In an abbreviated joint conference-call with Lowell (no questions from the press) Santa reminds kids everywhere that they should never take steroids, and always pay their taxes.
2007-11-19 07:39:22
5.   Mike T
ESPN is reporting that several NY media outlets are reporting that Mo is going to accept the Yanks' offer.

http://tinyurl.com/25tvek

2007-11-19 07:41:10
6.   Bama Yankee
2 Here ya go, Alex:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11N-BD1aBo0

2007-11-19 08:07:44
7.   Bama Yankee
1 & 2 Here's the De La Soul version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pqDwQMq2B0

2007-11-19 08:23:46
8.   Adrian
0 I have this awful feeling that everything is going to fall apart at the last minute. Then again, I've been hanging around with Mets fans for the past week, so that might explain why.
2007-11-19 08:24:43
9.   rilkefan
6 Beautiful, thanks.
2007-11-19 08:43:02
10.   The Mick 536
Don't know what Markman has against Hank, or the guys on PTI for that matter. As they used to say with Georgie Porgie, he signs the checks. I root for the team win or lose. I always believe that the ownership tries to win. They got boxed in with a few less than productive long term contracts, made a few bad decisions with Vlad and some pitchers. But then again, that is what happened after 1978 and caused the hiatus in championships.

IMHO, the truth hasn't been told about the Torre thing. Seems like he lost the support of management by his failure to win. The Swindal DUI could have resulted in the deal being taken off the table. Who knows?

No one has answered the question that Hank asked. Who was Joe Torre before they handed him a team of studs that had a hunger to win? And his going to LA for less bucks has an odor to it.

2007-11-19 08:45:54
11.   vockins
Warren Buffett? Good lord.
2007-11-19 09:00:43
12.   RZG
10 And who was Hank before George (I hope) impregnated his wife?
2007-11-19 09:34:20
13.   dianagramr
8

Having things fall apart re: Rivera and A-Rod is a bit different than having it fall apart re: Yorvit ...

(just sayin')

in other news, the White Sox just traded Jon Garland to the Angels for Orlando Cabrera .... curious move.

2007-11-19 09:52:05
14.   JL25and3
10 No one has answered the question that Hank asked. Who was Joe Torre before they handed him a team of studs that had a hunger to win?

I don't understand how that's relevant.

2007-11-19 10:01:42
15.   Raf
13 I don't understand the deal either. Good for the Angels, Cabrera's value isn't going to get any higher.

If this is the kind of deal Kenny Williams is going to make, I'd suggest that Cashman get on the phone with him; there's a fleecing to be had...

2007-11-19 10:05:22
16.   rsmith51
Awful move by the ChiSox...

They way overvalued Cabrera. Kind of like the Angels did three years ago.

2007-11-19 10:11:28
17.   Raf
16 But they already have Uribe @ SS... Granted, it isn't much, but if they're going to replace him the least they could do is upgrade.

The Halos have replaced Colon in the rotation, and opened up a spot for Brandon Wood. Can't find much fault on their end of the deal.

2007-11-19 10:18:38
18.   Yankee Fan In Boston
the red sox just signed lowell.

http://tinyurl.com/28gqju

3 years at $12-13M per year.

2007-11-19 10:18:55
19.   YankeeInMichigan
I fail to see the mystery regarding Torre. Management (IMHO including Cashman) felt that a change was in order but that Torre was still the best man for the short term, so they offered him a one-year deal. Torre felt that a one-year deal would create undue stress for him and the players, so he turned it down. The Dodgers offered him a three-year deal, so he took it.
2007-11-19 10:21:30
20.   AbbyNormal821
6 Dude, you ROCK.

Ah, that SO takes me back to the Saturday mornings of my youth.

2007-11-19 10:23:34
21.   YankeeInMichigan
Here's my MVP ballot:

#1 A-Rod
#2 Ordonez
#3 Ortiz
#4 Posada
#5 Granderson
#6 Sabathia
#7 Carmona
#8 Ichiro
#9 Vlad
#10 Lackey

Honorable mention: Sizemore, Martinez, Beckett, Pena.

I was tempted to put Granderson over Posada for his superior defense, but I couldn't do that to Jorgie. Choosing among the four Indian studs was really tough. I'm curious to see whether the writers will under-value Ortiz after they have over-valued him for so many years.

2007-11-19 10:25:28
22.   Shaun P
15 Do the White Sox have anything the Yanks need that is worth fleecing? =)

10 19 I thought turkey with bread stuffing was the meal of choice during Thanksgiving week, not dead horse with Torre stuffing.

2007-11-19 10:31:17
23.   yankeemonkey
21 No love for Beckett?
2007-11-19 10:33:26
24.   yankeemonkey
21 23 Nevermind, I can't read.
2007-11-19 10:39:37
25.   OldYanksFan
Yankees looking at Ron Mahay. I don't like it.
2007-11-19 10:48:38
26.   YankeeInMichigan
25 If he is inexpensive and more likely to succeed than Villone or Henn, I don't see the problem.
2007-11-19 10:49:55
27.   OldYanksFan
ARod on video: Player of the Year.
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/awards/pa/poty;_ylt=Ahu4YVEUf1HVN48JfftXWvMRvLYF
2007-11-19 10:50:12
28.   JL25and3
25 I never like signing free agent middle relievers. Relievers are inherently so inconsistent that a free agent isn't really a better bet than an NRI of one sort or another.

Having said that, the Yankees have really struggled to find competent lefthanded relievers in recent years. Mahay should be a relatively low-cost, low-risk pickup.

2007-11-19 10:57:09
29.   OldYanksFan
26 In the last 3 years, he has a 4 ERA, and walks a batter every 2 innings. Do we really need that? He has also NEVER pitched more then 67 innings in a year and averaged 53 IP over the last 3 years. For a reliever, is this even average???
2007-11-19 11:07:28
30.   Bama Yankee
20 Thanks Abby (but I don't just ROCK... I Schoolhouse ROCK!)
;-)

BTW, you can get the 30th anniversary edition (yes, we're getting old) DVD from Amazon for 15 bucks (it has all the classics). I got it for my 3-year-old and he loves to watch it (almost as much as I do).

2007-11-19 11:10:11
31.   RichB
It's official, ARod won the MVP (no surprise). It was a near unanimous vote. It would have been unanimous, but Ordonez got two first place votes.

Hmmm... I wonder which town the two writers who voted for Ordonez reside in... gee, wouldn't be Detroit, would it?

2007-11-19 11:10:49
32.   rbj
In a surprising twist, A-Rod won the MVP, but not unanimously

"The only two first-place votes that didn't go to Rodriguez were from Tom Gage of The Detroit News and Jim Hawkins of The Oakland Press in Pontiac, Mich."

Gage and Hawkins, please explain yourselves before we revoke your right to vote for MVP.

2007-11-19 11:15:50
33.   dianagramr
30

I've enjoyed my copy of "Rock" DVDs.

Conjunction Junction .... what's your function?

2007-11-19 11:18:23
34.   RichB
32 Not that I would have voted for anyone except ARod, but Ordonez did have a monster year and the MVP is somewhat subjective. You could make lots of little arguments for Ordonez. No one outside of Detroit will buy it, but his season was nothing to sneeze at.
2007-11-19 11:18:44
35.   YankeeInMichigan
I probably won't hear much about it on the local talk shows tonight. Lloyd Carr's retirement and the Lions' will be taking up the air time.
2007-11-19 11:19:05
36.   YankeeInMichigan
35 That should be "the Lions' loss."
2007-11-19 11:26:27
37.   ChrisS
from ESPN's article:
"A-Rod hit .314 and led the majors with 54 homers and 156 RBIs. But he flopped again in the playoffs as the Yankees lost to Cleveland in the first round. He went 4-for-15 (.267) with one RBI against the Indians ... "

I would pin that series loss on CMW, Derek Jeter, and midges.

A-Rod played well enough, especially since they faced the Cy Young winner twice. No reason to keep harping on his supposed lack of success in the play-offs.

2007-11-19 11:39:19
38.   Shaun P
26 28 That's the question - is Ron Mahay guaranteed to be that much more valuable as a lefty reliever than either Henn or (don't hate me Mattpat) Igawa, both of whom cost the Yanks nothing they don't already have to pay?

My guess is no.

2007-11-19 11:42:19
39.   RichB
37 I'm just sick and tired of that line being appended to every article about ARod. The recent articles about Jeter having tax trouble didn't end with "Jeter struggled in the playoffs, scratching out only 3 singles in 17 at bats for a .176 average with no runs and 1 RBI." Nor do any articles still mention that Jeter, Posada, Matsui and Melky all hit below .200 for the series.
2007-11-19 11:43:20
40.   YankeeInMichigan
38 Neither Henn nor Igawa has ever demonstrated the ability to succeed at the major league level. If one of them finally puts it together this year, Mahay will probably be inexpensive enough to be tradeable.

By the way, Henn is out of options, so he'll have just one more shot at proving himself.

2007-11-19 11:49:17
41.   Shaun P
40 "Neither Henn nor Igawa has ever demonstrated the ability to succeed at the major league level"

Over the course of a season, no they have not. Not that either has exactly been given a whole season's worth of a chance. Still, I'd rather see the Yanks take a chance on Henn or Igawa and if there is that much need, try someone else. Why waste money on a guy like Mahay, who, as OYF points out 29 , is just as likely to flop as he is succeed?

Besides, a team doesn't need a lefty in the bullpen to win.

2007-11-19 11:55:50
42.   ms october
34 I agree that Ordonez had a superb year - but the "tiebreaker" is usually team performance - and with the Tigers not even making the playoffs and the Yanks making it largely because of Arod, this should have been unanimous. But I have just stopped being outraged at the thought that someone from Oakland, CA voted for Ordonez since I have finally read it correctly that the other guy is in Pontiac.

38 I don't know what the solution is - but I would guess that at least 2/3 of the internal possibilities have to at least be competent for the bullpen to not be a major liability. I tried to follow some of the action in the AFL and Ohlendorf didn't seem to do that well (I know it was a short time/hitters league, but you'd still like to see someone that had the major league time he has to do better). I'm not necesarily advocating signings because I agree with many of the comments over the fallacy of money to middle relief - but I am not that confident with most of the internal choices. It also seems like a lot of hopes are being placed on Sanchez - supposedly control is the last thing to come back, so he might not be that useful until after the ASB.

2007-11-19 11:57:14
43.   ny2ca2dc
re: Mahay & the always fun topic of signing middle relievers (vs. just NRI & scrapheapers), consider this: Torre would always be loyal to the vets & toys, running the Villone's & Sturtz's etc out there. But signing non-Type-A FA middle relievers would be a good way to leverage the Yankees $$ advantage. If they don't work out, eat half the contract and trade them. Girardi may not be so loyal. Of course, if someone bombs as bad as Farnsworth they're not even dump-able, so...

But the point is, if it costs only money, and if they can easily be cut (e.g. Mike Meyers 6-12 months too late), use the money bags.

2007-11-19 11:58:37
44.   JL25and3
41 Besides, a team doesn't need a lefty in the bullpen to win.

Theoretically, you're probably right. You probably don't need any lefty hitters to win, either, but you'd be a damn fool not to go looking for one.

Never mind David Ortiz; I want a lefty reliever to turn Brian Roberts around.

2007-11-19 12:03:34
45.   YankeeInMichigan
41 Not having a lefty reliever in the pen cost Game 2 of the ALDS.
2007-11-19 12:06:49
46.   YankeeInMichigan
42 Precedence generally goes to contenders over non-contenders, but voters generally don't distinguish playoff teams and near-miss teams.

But regardless, A-Rod doesn't need a "tiebreaker." He was better.

2007-11-19 12:13:21
47.   ms october
44 45 I agree. And with a manager that knows how to use a lefty reliver, the lefty reliver at the least can't hurt; maybe it makes a panicky opposing manager make a poor move - especially if we have an all right-handded starting rotation

46 Oh yeah, I agree - he was far better - that's why I put tiebreaker in quotes, but if for some reason voters were trying to decide between the two, that should have put him over the top.

2007-11-19 12:19:12
48.   Shaun P
43 If we weren't talking about a 37-year-old, I'd agree. Use the money to lure the late 20s/early 30s relievers, and dump them if necessary. But I can't believe Ron Mahay is the best option available.

44 That's a good point, but its not like the Yanks don't (at least) two internal options. And who else is on the market?

45 No more so than the bats going cold, or Torre not pulling the team off the field, or Joba imploding at the worst time.

2007-11-19 12:33:15
49.   JL25and3
48 The "prize" lefty reliever on the market is Jeremy Affeldt. He's got "buyer's remorse" written all over him.

After that...Bruce Chen, Everyday Eddie, The Patriarch, Ray King, Mike Myers, Arthur Rhodes, Ron Villone. All of a sudden Ron Mahay doesn't looks so bad.

Also, you can take serviceable righties off the scrapheap, but lefties are tougher to find.

2007-11-19 12:34:10
50.   JL25and3
48 I don't get this argument about Torre pulling the team off the field. How would it have helped to forfeit the game?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-11-19 12:53:15
51.   YankeeInMichigan
50 At worst it would have bought time. He also could have tried talking the umpires into delaying the game.
2007-11-19 12:54:48
52.   YankeeInMichigan
48 The bats going cold and the midges attacking could not have been anticipated. Travis Haffner coming to bat in extra innings could have been.
2007-11-19 12:54:48
53.   Sliced Bread
Riske is good against lefties. Is he still available?
2007-11-19 13:00:14
54.   Shaun P
53 Ah, there's another argument - a good righty might trump a crappy lefty any day.

52 I just don't buy that not having Mike Myers or Ron Villone around was that much of a difference.

2007-11-19 13:01:17
55.   Mattpat11
I don't like A-Rod. Not at all. But anyone that didn't vote for him should have their privileges revoked.
2007-11-19 13:02:14
56.   Mattpat11
38 NO.
2007-11-19 13:06:23
57.   YankeeInMichigan
54 Well Torre and Cashman realized that it was. That's why they called up Villone at the first opportunity. And Villone answered the call by retiring Haffner in Game 4.

As for the "a good righty ..." argument, an elite righty such as Rivera or Joba is a safe bet pitching to anyone. But when you have a bullpen full of mediocre righties, you'll need a mediocre lefty to balance things out. And beware of one or two-year reverse splits. Vizcaino came in with them too.

2007-11-19 13:07:57
58.   YankeeInMichigan
32 I just checked Tom Gage's blog to see if he had defended his MVP vote. His last entry was from November 1 (dealing with Zumaya's injury). We're spoiled with PeteAbe.
2007-11-19 13:20:32
59.   Sliced Bread
57 good point re: misleading reverse splits, but Riske looks pretty consistent vs lefties. Other than 1 bad year vs lefties in 2006 he's been effective: 1.31 WHIP/.211 BAA.
2007-11-19 13:23:45
60.   JL25and3
50 Well, no, at worst they would have forfeited the game. The umps had already told Torre they weren't going to delay the game - and besides, the decision was probably out of the umpires' hands. It was probably the decision of the commissioner (i.e. the networks).
2007-11-19 13:24:23
61.   Mattpat11
59 Riske will provoke Michael Kay Risky Business jokes. Thats a point against him.
2007-11-19 13:26:09
62.   Sliced Bread
61 Oy. Good point. Forget him.
2007-11-19 13:35:56
63.   51cq24
60 the umpires explicitly said that torre never asked them to delay the game and that if he had they would have considered it. there are precedents. but let's try not to dwell. certainly the lack of a lefty from the bullpen was not the deciding factor in the division series.
2007-11-19 15:28:56
64.   Mattpat11
ESPN is saying that Rivera is a done deal.

I think we should celebrate by dumping Worthless.

2007-11-19 16:42:04
65.   OldYanksFan
Both a long audio and video on Mr. ARod
http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=nyy
(toward the bottom of the page)
I like the guy. He's not modest, but he's OK.
I think we are in for a cool ride the next few years.
2007-11-19 17:11:08
66.   51cq24
64 http://tinyurl.com/2ahmwz
sounds like a done deal.
2007-11-19 17:14:03
67.   OldYanksFan
Mo, Po and ARod must be having a giant party, and once again, the Yanks will foot the bill (:-0
2007-11-19 17:35:43
68.   rbj
Off to Virginny for turkey day.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

2007-11-19 17:44:44
69.   monkeypants
Not wanting to dig up a dead horse and beat its rotting carcass, but now that Mo (seems to have) resigned, and A-Rod (seems have resigned), and Posada resigned, perhaps we should re-evaluate the effects of Torregate. It was widely feared here and elsewhere that the not-re-hiring of Torre would lead to an exodus of loyal players and usher in a new dark age of Yankee baseball.

Now, the only player who seems to be holding out is Pettitte, and I suspect his current lean toward retirement has little to do with the former manager's departure, though that is just a hunch.

2007-11-19 17:48:11
70.   monkeypants
As for MVP--A-Rod was of course deserving, and Magglio probably warranted #2. But Jorge at #6? With that historic season from the catcher position? Two years in a row the voters undervalued a catcher's performance.
2007-11-19 18:06:40
71.   Raf
WRT the bullpen, I don't see signing anyone until we see who gets nontendered.
2007-11-19 19:13:30
72.   JL25and3
69 Definitely beating all hell out of a dead horse. But the effects on free agents was always just a side issue anyway.
2007-11-19 19:37:14
73.   51cq24
69 for me that was the only issue. so far this postseason has been just about perfect. got rid of torre, hired the right replacement, re-signed posada, mo, and arod (apparently), and all with flair. i have a good feeling pettitte will be back (unless named in mitchell), so i think the only work remaining is with the bullpen. let all the pundits give the sox the edge going into next season. we know that we only lost 2 less games than them and 10 of the last 12 head to head. it'll be an interesting mix of young starters and veteran position players, but it's hard not to like this team.
2007-11-19 19:38:49
74.   51cq24
73 won, not lost.
2007-11-19 23:43:07
75.   weeping for brunnhilde
65 He's also not stupid.
2007-11-19 23:44:54
76.   weeping for brunnhilde
69 What about Andy?
2007-11-19 23:46:39
77.   weeping for brunnhilde
Wow, Alex called Mo "a very, very close friend of mine."

Who knew?

2007-11-19 23:56:31
78.   weeping for brunnhilde
He sounds remarkably calm and easy.

Not nearly so guarded as he used to be.

"I was trying to please everybody rather than do what made me happy...some people are going to like it and some people are not, and that's just the story of my lie."

He's settling in, finally.

2007-11-19 23:57:42
79.   weeping for brunnhilde
78 Oh my God, talk about a Freudian slip.

That's "life!" not "lie."

2007-11-20 03:18:10
80.   Yankee Fan In Boston
79 pssst... you might be able to use these:

http://tinyurl.com/26ny23

2007-11-20 09:41:38
81.   weeping for brunnhilde
80 Heh heh heh heh! That's actually quite funny, and cute, too!

:)

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