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Parsing Joe Girardi's Lineup
2008-02-28 21:14
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees play their first full-squad game under Joe Girardi today in an exhibition against the University of South Florida. Among other things, this gives us our first glimpse of a Joe Girardi-penned Yankee lineup. Here's how it looks:

L - Johnny Damon (LF)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Bobby Abreu (RF)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
L - Jason Giambi (1B)
S - Jorge Posasa (C)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
R - Shelley Duncan (DH)
S - Melky Cabrera (CF)

No real surprises there. In fact, one of the few things that can be gleaned from that lineup is that Girardi is indeed serious about giving Jason Giambi a shot to claim the first base job, thus opening DH up for Hideki Matsui full time. Notice that Matsui is absent from the above as he's still rehabbing his knee. Once Matsui joins the action on or around March 9 (per the Star-Ledger's Ed Price), Girardi, who clearly prefers to alternate his righties and lefties throughout the order, will be forced to hit two lefties back-to-back.

The good news is that, other than Bobby Abreu, who is firmly ensconced between the two best right-handed hitters on the team, none of the Yankee lefties really struggle all that much against their own kind. Cano was largely neutralized by lefties in 2006, but last year he hit them better than righties (.328/.374/.490 v. L; .296/.344/.487 v. R). Damon hit lefties better than righties in 2006. Matsui absolutely crushed lefties back in 2005, doing most of his damage against them, and while Jason Giambi's production does drop against lefties, he's been so productive over the course of his career that he still has a career .855 OPS against portsiders.

In fact, if there's one player on the team other than Abreu who might need to be kept away from lefties it's Melky Cabrera, who has hit 13 of his 15 career home runs and all 10 of his major league triples against right-handed pitching (including one homer hit righty off a righty). Then again, if the idea is for Melky to make or break, forcing him to hit lefties might be a necessary part of the process.

Thus it may not matter how Girardi works Matsui into the lineup. Last year, Joe Torre hit him fifth with Giambi and Cano hitting seventh and eighth respectively. I'd like to see Cano hit higher in the order, possibly even serving as Alex Rodriguez's protection, with Posada, Matsui, and Giambi to follow. If Girardi is willing to give up the ghost on alternating his lefties (though I generally approve of that strategy), a Posada-Cano-Matsui-Giambi order, despite it placing three consecutive lefties in front of Cabrera, might also be compelling.

Still, the lesson here is not to expect anything radical from Joe Girardi's lineup construction. The top four seem set in stone and, honestly, until Cano proves himself worth of hitting third over the course of a full season, there's no real reason to tinker with that structure. The Yankee offense is so potent and well-balanced that putting the hitters in order is an almost fool-proof exercise. The real trick is not how to order them, but how and when to rest them and whom to play in their stead on those occasions, and Girardi's facility with that won't become evident until the regular season is well underway.

Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see how the Yanks fair against USF today. According to Peter Abraham, the Red Sox swept a double-header against Boston College and Northeastern yesterday by a combined score of 39-0, drawing 27 walks in the process. It's no wonder Tino told his old USF buddies to throw strikes today. Still, the Yankee starters will only play four or five innings and Kei Igawa is scheduled to pitch in the fifth, so I expect USF to fair a bit better than their Massachusetts counterparts.

In far more important news, Bobby Murcer is scheduled to undergo a biopsy on Monday as his doctors have detected something in his brain that is either scar tissue or another tumor. Obviously, we're all rooting for scar tissue. I'm not, however, rooting for Bill Madden or the Daily News, who broke this story by publishing a personal email from Murcer's wife under a sensational headline. No link for Bill, but good thoughts for Bobby.

Comments
2008-02-29 01:44:20
1.   Yu-Hsing Chen
the righty against righty HR by Melky I'd guess is off Wakefield?
2008-02-29 04:22:14
2.   OldYanksFan
I will guess your desire to drop Giambi in the order is a reflection of your lack of confidence in him? Normally, Giambi would be the obvious #5 hitter.
2008-02-29 04:37:00
3.   williamnyy23
2 I would also drop Giambi in the order, but only a small part of the reason would be lessening confidence in him. Other relevant reasons would be: the other talent in the lineup; Giambi's lack of speed; not wanting to have a defensive replacement (which will often times be inevitable) stuck in the middle of the lineup; and finally, it is kind of nice to have a power threat in the bottom of third of the lineup.
2008-02-29 04:49:26
4.   Sliced Bread
Typo on Murcer, Cliff.

Yeah, Cano should bat fifth.

2 Giambi's more likely to hit into a DP than Cano, which is why I prefer Robbie 5th. Plus, Cano is more likely to come around and score on a Posada drive to the gap. For me, it's more about confidence in Cano (patience, Robbie!), than a lack thereof in Giambi. I love Giambi's bat, and marvel that the Yanks can even consider having a hitter like him batting 7th. Ridiculous.

2008-02-29 04:51:03
5.   Sliced Bread
3 exactly, william.
2008-02-29 05:25:16
6.   OldYanksFan
3 Everything you said is valid, however, some food for thought.

1) We HOPE Giambi is 2nd on the team in HRs. It would be nice to maximize his 'ducks on the pond'.

2) I love Robbie, but from a pitchers POV, I'd much rather see him in the ODC when ARod is up, then Giambi. I do think protection for ARod has some value.

3) Over the last THREE years, Robbie's RISP OPS has been almost 90 points lower then his yearly average. I'm not one for 'clutch', but Robbie needs to show that he can hit with RISP before he bats 5th or 6th. Three years is a BIG sample size.

4) Yes, Giambi is a 'base clogger'. But I am more concerned with the guys in FRONT of him scoring, then him scoring. Aside from Giambi himself, Jetes, Abreu and ARod are often our best 3 (or 3 of 4 consdiering Posada) OBP guys. If (if, if) Giambi is healthy, I peg him to be 2nd in OPS.

5) While I can't argue the outcome, in 2003, when Jason (batting 7th) hit 2 HRs off Pedro, they were both solo shots. This is a potential loss of runs.

However, if JD doesn't have a good year, he should bat 9th with Bobby or Jetes leading off.

Jetes
Abreu
ARod
Gaimbi
Posada
Cano
Matsui
Melky
JD

Stacks our OBP on top. However, our lineup IS indeed very balanced, and the order is a little like splitting hairs.

2008-02-29 05:34:43
7.   Sliced Bread
6 Robbie's RISP OPS is impacted by the runners he has on base. He's got some heavy horses to drive home. I prefer his speed-and-power combo to Jason's patience-and-power combo in the 5 spot, but like you said... splitting hairs.
2008-02-29 05:57:50
8.   murphy
4 ,7 : ditto on Cano getting moved up in the lineup. while cliff is right about robbie's needing to prove he can hit higher up in the lineup for an entire season, he hasn't really had that chance to do so just yet. cano like bowa's tough approach, september/october are, by far, his strongest months at the plate, and he had a strong 2007 ALDS - looks like he likes a challenge. my reasoning is admittedly a little elementary, bu perhaps he would respond better to the consistent pressure of having to hit higher in the order.
2008-02-29 05:57:55
9.   williamnyy23
All of your points are valid as well, but here's some more food for thought:

1) We HOPE Giambi is 2nd on the team in HRs. It would be nice to maximize his 'ducks on the pond'.

If Giambi bats 7th, the three hitters in front of him would presumably be Arod, Cano and Posada. That sounds like a lot of ducks on the pond to me.

2) I love Robbie, but from a pitchers POV, I'd much rather see him in the ODC when ARod is up, then Giambi. I do think protection for ARod has some value.

I am not so sure about that. Cano seems to be fast gaining a "fear factor" reputation around the league. Also, if I was a pitcher, I might be more wary of facing Cano with men in scoring position because he makes more contact and is far from one dimensional.

3) Over the last THREE years, Robbie's RISP OPS has been almost 90 points lower then his yearly average. I'm not one for 'clutch', but Robbie needs to show that he can hit with RISP before he bats 5th or 6th. Three years is a BIG sample size.

That's a very good point. Hitting with men on base is somewhat of a different skill, so you'd have to be confident that Cano is ready for it. I think he is, but perhaps Girardi will want to see a little more before moving him up.

4) Yes, Giambi is a 'base clogger'. But I am more concerned with the guys in FRONT of him scoring, then him scoring. Aside from Giambi himself, Jetes, Abreu and ARod are often our best 3 (or 3 of 4 consdiering Posada) OBP guys. If (if, if) Giambi is healthy, I peg him to be 2nd in OPS.

Once again, in the 7th slot, Giambi would have Arod, Posada and Cano. Arod is Arod and Posada and Jeter have almost the same career .OBP, so the difference is really Cano versus Abreu. Clearly, Abreu is more of an OBP guy, but their paths are converging.

I kind of like the lineup you suggested, but I might still slot Cano 5th. Because Robbie makes so much contact and doesn't have the best eye at the plate, I'd like to see him in as many situations where the pitcher can't pitch around him. If he is being protected by Melky, for example, that might not be the case.

2008-02-29 06:33:05
10.   williamnyy23
Batting order aside, I think it's pretty clear that the Yankees are going to once again have a very dynamic offense this year. The Tigers have garnered so much attention thanks to the Cabrera deal, but I still don't see them in the Yankees class. For some reason, it seems as if a lot of people are predicting a decline in the Yankee offense (mostly do to drawbacks from Posada and Arod), but I think the opposite is likely. Here's a quick run down of each player compared to 2007:

Damon – 2007 OPS+: 97 / I think we can reasonably expect Damon to at least have a more consistent, if not better season. If all the reports are true, Damon is returning in better shape and with a renewed focus. Also, having the LF job should allow him to concentrate more on hitting. I'd imagine losing his CF job was a bit of a distraction last season.

Jeter – 2007 OPS+: 121 / For all the talk about Jeter's declining defense, the Captain remains a model of consistency at the plate. I think you can pencil him in for another 120-125 OPS+ season.

Abreu – 2007 OPS+:114 / I think Abreu is a prime candidate for a huge bounce back season. Not only is he starting the season in better shape, but this year he also has a contract for which to play. What's more, Abreu's 2007 season was deflated by a horrendous and anomalous April and May. If his last four months are any indication, Abreu is going to put up huge numbers this year, and probably parlay that into another big deal in the off season.

By the way, did anyone notice that Abreu finished 17th in the MVP balloting last year, which was almost the highest he ever placed (14th in 2005)?

Arod – 2007 OPS+: 177 / Common sense should dictate that Arod will drop off a little, but a look at Alex' career suggests the decline wont be that much.

Giambi – 2007 OPS+: 108 / The big question with Giambi is health. If he stays relatively healthy, Giambi will easily surpass his 2007 contribution. After all, before 2007, his two previous OPS+ tallies were 161 and 148. I don't think those levels are likely, but something in the 130 range seems like a good bet.

Posada – 2007 OPS+: 154 / Clearly, Posada should experience a significant drop-off. Still, he should once again be one of the most productive catchers in the game. In his last 5 seasons, Posada has posted OPS+ of 144, 131, 109, 122 and 154. Aside from a dip similar to 2005, I think the Yankees would sign-up for any of the other four seasons. Even if Posada did fall back to his 2005 numbers, he'd still be a significant contributor.

Cano – 2007 OPS+: 120/ I am becoming a big Cano fan, so naturally, the ceiling for Robbie seems to be rising. His increasing maturity and obvious athletic talents are justification enough for rosy predictions, but his 2nd half OPS of .953 makes me feel even better about my optimism. I think Cano could have a very big year.

Matsui – 2007 OPS+: 123 /Again, health is a concern entering camp, but otherwise, Matsui, like Jeter, has established himself as a model of consistency. There has been so much talk about Matsui's declining skills, but that seems to ignore his 123 OPS+ last year. If he can stay healthy, and presumably being a DH should help in that regard, Matsui could actually improve quite nicely. Otherwise, I still think he is a good bet to maintain his level of production.

Cabrera – 2007 OPS+: 89 / Like him or not, I think we can all agree that Melky will at least perform up the standards of his 2007 campaign. Personally, I think he will improve considerably, especially if he can get off to a better start and maintain his strength at the end of the season. In June, July and August, Cabrera was an offensive force, so hopefully he can spread out his production to the earlier and later months.

Bench: With Betemit, Ensberg, Duncan and Molina a possible bench configuration, that group easily projects to be MUCH better than Phillips, Cairo, Phelps and Nieves.

Again, it is really bewildering why the Tigers are getting so much love on offense, when this Yankee lineup seems to be so much better.

2008-02-29 07:35:42
11.   Shaun P
10 Re; the Tigers, its too much attention paid to batting average and nothing else. Joe Fan and Joe Sports Writer both still think I-Rod is a great hitter, because he hit .281 last year. But .281 with a .294 OBP and 9 BB (1 IBB) vs 96 Ks is not good. (weeping, does this make I-Rod your least favorite player anywhere?)

And those guys think Polanco is all-world because he hit .341 last year. Yes, when Polanco hits .340 he's a valuable player on offense. But when he hits .295 he's average at best.

Give me Posada and Cano anytime.

2008-02-29 07:40:45
12.   OldYanksFan
10 I agree William. We had more guys 'down' last year then 'up'. Of course, one never knows in any given year how much 'one additional year of age' effects decline. Personally, the only one that really scares me is Mo. Has he been working on a changeup or other offspeed pitch?

I would add:
... If Jorge can post a 120+ OPS I would be delighted.
... ARod might surprise us. He should finally be comfortable with his 'status' and I believe he's on a mission. For the first time, he has openly stated (by dint of the 10 year contract w/incentives) that he will play into his 40's and hit 800 HRs.
... I am poised here with foot-in-mouth and personal optimism for a guy I like, but last year, in April, before the bone spur, Giambi posted a: .322 .404 .517 .921 line. I don't think it's a fluke. After his injury, Torre used him HORRIBLY! And I may be wrong, but isn't a bone spur kind of a fluke injury, not typically associated with baseball aging or wear and tear? I'm predicting 450 ABs and a .900+ OPS
... It's unpopular, but if we want to make a push at KILLING Boston this year, I get Bonds and try to trade Matsui... starting with LA. I don't know where his 120+ OPS stands in terms of a typical/good DH goes, but swaps Bonds for Mats in our lineup and I see it as a major upgrade. I mean, I would never WANT to see Bonds in the OF, but he did play 120+ games in the OF last year. He could spell JD in LF for 25 games if need be.

With AJax possible for 2009 and Tabata for 2010, I think Melky is playing this year for a spot on the team. If he doesn't get better, good defense and all, I'm not sure we want a .750 OPS guy in CF.

And Jeter did have a prototypical excellent year in 2007, sans power. Considering his offeason workout and hopefully healthy legs, can we hope for a better year from him?

Remember the FO talked about this being a transition year, and they did not EXPECT 'Girardi' to necessarily win it all?
While I understand it, I still think one year of Bonds, as 'dirty' as he is, would be a little 'transition' insurance. We could have a WS team as is, but many things have to go just right. I just think Bonds gives us a little breathing room, and that Matsui is more tradable now (2/$26) then after the year. And I think our history can withstand ONE year of any player.

I still say when Bonds hits HRs for us, we will be rooting for him rabidly. It's the laundry, right?

2008-02-29 07:52:25
13.   horace-clarke-era
Cliff: "The real trick is not how to order them, but how and when to rest them and whom to play in their stead on those occasions, and Girardi's facility with that won't become evident until the regular season is well underway."

Exactly. It has to be obvious that if Cano is smoking hot and Jason G is struggling in April, adjustments can be made. Same with Damon or Abreu (though I am high on both for this year, myself.)

Resting, and adjustments for hot bats (and NOT adjusting sometimes, as players DO have comfort zones and confidence issues) ... those will be what Girardi makes da big bucks for, and takes the heat for.

2008-02-29 07:55:48
14.   williamnyy23
12 We agreed on this before, but I'd sign Bonds in a heartbeat. In spite of the scandal, I still consider myself a "Bonds fan" any way, but regardless, would never be against the Yankees significantly improving their team.

Having said that, I don't think you need to trade Matsui to make room for Bonds, especially if you didn't recover significant value for him. Considering the age and fragility of the Yankees LF/DH/1B triangle, I think Bonds, Damon, Matsui and Giambi could all co-exist. It might make Girardi's life a little more difficult, but it'd be a nice problem to have.

Also, you still have to think about 2009. At $13mn for one year remaining, Matsui would be a valuable asset if he maintains his production. For one thing, Giambi would be gone and Abreu could be as well. The Yankees will need to replace that offense, so unless Bonds can play two years, simply giving away Matsui might come back to haunt the Yankees in 2009.

2008-02-29 07:59:10
15.   Cliff Corcoran
Re: the Tigers. Last year they scored 5.48 runs per game, the third most in baseball. This winter they replaced the only three men in last year's lineup who slugged below .400 (Sean Casey, Craig Monroe, and Brandon Inge) with Edgar Renteria, Jacque Jones, and Miguel Cabrera. It's possible that Renteria will go sour again in the AL and that Jacque Jones won't regain the power he lost last year, but still, they have a very low standard to live up to. Meanwhile, Cabrera hit .320/.401/.565 last year despite everyone criticizing his conditioning and he's supposedly out to prove everyone wrong this year.

That said, Magglio Ordonez should regress for the same reasons as Alex Rodriguez, and more severely. Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco (who, by the way, had a .388 OBP and slugged .458 last year, so it wasn't all batting average) should also experience a bit of a correction. And of course Gary Sheffield is another year older.

Then again, Carlos Guillen will be better able to focus on his hitting now that he's the full-time first-baseman.

Ivan Rodriguez is indeed awful, but then he's the Melky of Detroit right now. The difference is that Melky can and should improve as a developing young talent, while Rodriguez will spend the season trying unsuccessfully to reach the fork in his back.

2008-02-29 08:21:12
16.   williamnyy23
15 Cabrera is clearly a huge acquisition, but I honestly think the regression of Polanco (122 OPS+ versus career of 99) and Ordonez (167 OPS+ versus career of 129) could off set the gain.

Also, I am not sure why so many people are in love with Renteria. His career OPS+ is 97 (Casey, 1 year older, is 110) and before last season, his previous three OPS+ marks were 88, 89 and 104. I think everyone is making the same mistake with him as the Red Sox did after acquiring him following his 130 OPS+ 2003 season.

If I had to estimate, I'd say the 2008 Tigers will score about as many runs as the 2007 Tigers. Of course, while the Tigers were 3rd in the majors in runs, they were still a over 80 runs behind the Yankees. If, as I suggest, the Yankees offense will be even better this season, then that gap would widen.

I am not suggesting the Tigers are a bad offensive club...just that they still aren't close to being as good as the Yankees.

2008-02-29 08:32:01
17.   ms october
i absolutely hate ticktmaster.
i have tried to buy tickets for 4 different games (not even "good games") now and i give up.
guess i will be using stubhub or whatever the hell.
2008-02-29 08:33:06
18.   wsporter
I think the Tigers should be about the same as last year in terms of production. The questions about their starters and bull pen though are still fairly significant. Their run differential may still not be as good as the Yankees and I doubt it will approach that of the Sawx. I can't see anointing them this years uber-team just yet.

Have any of you guys checked out the Yankees for Justice site? (see links) The publisher Todd Drew does a great job, he's a little breathy and over the top every now and then, perhaps even shallow in his analysis and I don't always agree with his conclusions but he is doing a real service in putting issues that matter to everyday, real people out there for everyone to think about. There is a conscience at work there that is really worth checking out.

2008-02-29 08:33:32
19.   williamnyy23
17 Even in the pre-sale, decent tickets for "non good games" were in scarce supply. I have a feeling the Stadium will be sold out for 2008 before Opening Day.
2008-02-29 08:38:00
20.   williamnyy23
18 Just checked it out...it seems more like an ideological blog than a Yankee blog. It doesn't seem like the kind of site I'd bookmark.
2008-02-29 08:48:55
21.   joejoejoe
Juggling the lineup for rest and juggling the lineup for optimal performance are mutually exclusive because there are so many LH thirtysomethings who need a day off. If one of them was a RH then you'd have a natural platoon but that's not the case. Jorge Posada is going to get some of the right-handed DH ABs so it creates even more of a logjam.

The Yanks would do welll with somebody like Rocco Baldelli as the RH 4th-5th outfielder.

2008-02-29 08:52:40
22.   wsporter
20 It's tangentially related at best and oh baby is it ever ideologically based. It's probably not your cup of tea Will. The impression I get though about the side of the aisle you occupy is that if you ever need to get your blood pressure up that's where you need to visit. :-)

It's why I try to hit blogs that push the opposite phylosophy I am attracted to, I already know what I think I sort of want to understand what people who think differently are saying, no matter how much it hurts.

With YFJ, he's closer to my way of thinking and he does manage to work some Yankee news in from a completely different perspective that keeps things fresh. He also exposes issues that I may not hear much about elsewhere given my southern mid-atlantic exile.

I really don't want to take up a lot of space on this thread about it so I'll shut up now and apologize if I've gone to far in pumping another site here.

2008-02-29 08:55:02
23.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
Me = beating a dead horse. Please: no Bonds. And no, I wouldn't cheer for him hitting home runs for us. I'd be ashamed.
2008-02-29 09:05:48
24.   williamnyy23
23 I am not disputing your right to not cheer bonds, but do you really think Bonds use of steroids (probably more HGH than anything else) makes him more reprehensible than players who drink to much, beat their wives, take recreational drugs, father children whom they don't support, etc.?

The reason I ask is because I am not sure why so many fans seem to abhor Bonds when they tolerate so many other worse behaviors. What's more, I don't understand why HGH is considered so taboo when we know the following three things about it: (1) most scientific evidence suggests HGH has no performance enhancing effect; (2) to this day, it still is not illegal to possess; and (3) MLB didn't get around to banning it until 2005.

So, if what Bonds did wan't illegal, wasn't against the rules and likely didn't help him anyway, what exactly has he done that is so wrong?

2008-02-29 09:06:52
25.   Rob Middletown CT
23: then you're gonna be ashamed every time Giambi hits a dinger, Pettitte starts a game, etc, I take it? Right?

Bonds cheated. So did a huge number of players, unfortunately. You cannot escape it. You can try to avoid adding to it, and I guess I could understand that viewpoint.

2008-02-29 09:07:56
26.   standuptriple
19 Come on out to Oakland. Plenty of good seats available for the Yankees one and only series (T-Th) in June. Just make sure you pack your bullet-proof vest.
2008-02-29 09:27:15
27.   wsporter
26 I went a couple of years ago, I got stuck staying at the Days Inn (blech!!!) around the corner from the Coliseum and walked to a night game. Other than it being cold as hell in August I had a great time. Should I have been nervous?
2008-02-29 09:44:56
28.   horace-clarke-era
21 "The Yanks would do welll with somebody like Rocco Baldelli as the RH 4th-5th outfielder. "

Joe, Joe, Joe ... (can't resist!). That is a no-go. Baldelli is either a very fine starting OF or on the DL (usually the latter). This is NOT anyone's 4th-5th.

I remain fascinated that even AFTER Mitchell and the terribly obvious conclusion that steroids were all over the game, which means steroid USERS are still all over the game, Bonds is uniquely toxic.*

But I am not sure my fascination and wish that this be balanced out overcomes a sense that it IS the case, and would create distortions we don't need. (At a position where we especially don't need further complications.)

* A theory? The Fall of Lucifer is more compelling a storyline than the sins of Velarde?

2008-02-29 10:36:35
29.   OldYanksFan
The Bonds issue has little to do with Baseball and much to do with human nature; our needs to scapegoat, jump on bandwagons and cheer on lynch mobs. It's a much better topic for a sociology or psychology blog then here.

Barry may have juiced more then many players, or even most players. But still, most of his accomplishments are a result of him being a historically great player. The vitriol he gets is WAY out of proportion. He's mean, he's ornery, he's terrible with the press and he's Black. A multitude of sins.

At the same time, Paul Bird and 95% of those already named are totally out of our consciousness. I bet the most ardent fan can't name 20% of those already caught.

But Bonds we HATE! Jason gets a pass. Andy is a great guy. And all the rest.... who?
And Whitey and Gaylord, who took a much easier and more effective way to cheat are still heros. Entire generations of suped-up-on-greenies players are an afterthought.

We can't stop the war. Close to 2 trillion dollars that could have rebuilt our entire infrastructure and school systems, as well as provide cheap health care for all, is gone. Unless it's about steroids, Congress can't get anything done. And while in 1980, President Carter declared the oil crisis the 'moral equivalent to war', we are once again mired in a recession based in oil and lack of alternative energy exploration.

There are SO many things we are powerless to change. So many frustrations. And it's really easy to hate a guy like Bonds.

Frankly, I was much more upset when Clemens and Boggs wore pinstripes. Rednecks AND Red Sox. Ug! But I did gain some respect for them are ballplayers. And we had a year of Canseco. And 3 of Shef. And God knows how many other users.

But it's really easy to hate a guy like Bonds.

2008-02-29 10:40:56
30.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
23 As follows:

drink to [sic] much: don't care - it's not illegal unless they're publicly intoxicated and/or do something much worse like dui/dwi [see: Jim Leyritz], or embarrass the team and upstanding citizenry in general

beat their wives: horrific. don't want wife beaters on our team either.

take recreational drugs: see 'beat their wives'

father children whom they don't support: see 'take recreational drugs'

But why do you bother bringing those things up? One has absolutely positively nothing to do with the other. They would only be remotely relevant if one or more players we're discussing were accused (or guilty) of the above. They're not. And if they are, feel free to bring them to my attention and I'll be sure to root or not root for them based on their behaviors - as well as how they handle being outed - as well. Taking illegal substances to cheat, continually lying about it (even under oath), and doing so with such vehemence is simply wrong. No two ways, sorry fella.

25 My moral point of view is not formed in isolation. That would be foolish. Personally, I can't wait for Giambi to be off our team. I was praying that they'd find a way to void the last 4 years of his contract. And no, I did not root for him or the middling success he's had for us since his story broke. Nor will I root for him this year. He has never really owned up to what he did, nor did he seem sincerely contrite for the embarrassment he caused. His non-apology apology was a side-show at best. I'm ashamed he's a Yankee.

As for Pettitte, rightly or wrongly I believe his latest admissions, consider his apology sincere, and believe he truly feels torn up inside about what he did. Therefore I root for him and any success he has for us. I see no such similarities in either Bonds or Clemens. In fact what I see is obviously entirely to the contrary.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. For some of us there are more important things than winning. Integrity being one of them...

2008-02-29 10:48:53
31.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
29 BTW you're overstating my emotional stance here. I don't "HATE" Bonds and "not hate" Giambi. For me that's not the question. I simply don't want Bonds on the team. I would be ashamed for him to be a Yankee.

I realize you weren't speaking to me alone (I think), but I wanted to point this out.

2008-02-29 11:05:59
32.   JL25and3
0 Cliff, I'm not going to kill Madden or the News on the Murcer story. It's not like the e-mail was leaked to them; Kay Murcer sent it to Madden. I suspect that his publishing it was understood, perhaps specifically approved.

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