Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Mariano Rivera in Four Musical Words
2008-07-10 06:37
by Alex Belth

Mariano Rivera: 42.3 innings, 4 walks, 50 strikeouts, 1.06 ERA.

'Nuff Said. 


2008-07-10 07:35:33
1.   Chyll Will
Nyyyyyyce! >;)
2008-07-10 07:42:07
2.   Chyll Will
I'll bet this would've been just as acceptable:

2008-07-10 07:54:12
3.   ms october
after the tease yesterday i really wanted to know what the four musical words would be - very nice.

Cuz you'll get fried in the end when you pretend to be
Competin' cuz I just put your mind on pause

2008-07-10 07:55:28
4.   Alex Belth
I was going to use the video, but the good-looking version doesn't allow you to embed it into a blog post.
2008-07-10 08:27:03
5.   Dimelo
"Paid in full" is in my top three favorite rap albums ever made by a group or duo.

Mo' is President -
Mak'em clap to this,
To show our appreciation for your support,
Mak'em clap to this

I came in the door...or bullpen door is it?

2008-07-10 08:43:34
6.   OldYanksFan
Back to Gardner:
Preface: I don't think he is a starting player. However, Melky is currently playing SO STUPIDLY, Gardner MIGHT be able to Pipp him. Even if not, I think Melky needs a 2 week vacation in AAA to rethink his career.... and how he might save it.

1) Small samply size: Let's not make to many judgements.
2) Like Ichiro (although I am NOT comparing them as players), Gardner plays to his strenghts... which is walks and beating out cheap grounders. I have NO problem with him looking for a walk. I LIKE that he looks for walks. God forbid, Cano and Melky should feel the same way.
3) Regardless of how he hits, his speed is a weapon and critical SBs alone can win a number of ballgames (need I bring up Dave Roberts).
4) I have not read any quotes or knowledgeable assessments of his D. With his speed, if he gets decent jumps and takes decent routes, he could/should be better then Melky. I'd like to hear from somebody who knows, what kind of defender Brett is. He doesn't have Melky's arm, but doesn't have JD's either.
5) It would be hard to do much worse then Melky, considering his speed is always a weapon.
6) He HAS to be nervous, being called up by an underperfoming Yankee team and expected to contribute immediately.
7) He has had some poor ABs, but when he is at the plate, his attitude seems to be: DON'T make an out. Work the pitcher. Make him throw strikes. I LIKE his approach. On a team where Mekly's approach is BEYOND BAD, and Cano's approach is often infuriating, and even Jeter's approach seems 'less smart' then in the past, it's refreshing to see SOMEONE use their head. Who knows, maybe it will rub off on SOMEONE else on this team.

2008-07-10 08:53:57
7.   williamnyy23
6 Melky is playing stupidly? Consider the following stats for the past 7 days:

Player A: .333/.364/.524/.887
Player B: .167/.200/.167/.367

Now, based on the past week, whom would you rather have playing? If you said Player A, you choose Melky. Player B, of course, is Gardner. I can't figure out why you think Gardner might "Pipp" Melky based on these stats. When Gardner was brought up, the idea that he might push Melky was raised. Well, aside from a couple of high profile Ks, Melky has hit the ball well and played fine defense. If anything, Melky has solidified position since Gardner came up, but you seem to suggest he has slipped.

2008-07-10 09:00:14
8.   Raf
2) I don't think the problem is that he looks for walks, I think the problem is that he doesn't control the strikezone.

3) FWIW Roberts was used as a pinch runner. And his SB alone didn't win the game. And he was a 4th OF while with the Sox.

2008-07-10 09:06:52
9.   Schteeve
I like Gardner's energy, I like Melky's spunkiness, I don't think either one of them deserve a starting job on a $200 million roster.

Taking the money out of it, I don't think either one of them get on base enough to be starting CFs, but I think once the sample sizes flesh out, Melky is the better player.

I've been saying this a lot lately and so this will be the last time I do, but I think the biggest problem on the Yankees offense is Cano. In three plus big league seasons, he has had only one season in which his OBP was (arguably) meaningfully better than his BA. Next time he gets hot for a while, I'd move him.

2008-07-10 09:07:13
10.   williamnyy23
6 Also, the assumption that he could/should be better than Melky on defense ignores the fact that Melky is rating as one of the top defensive CF'ers in the AL this year.

I agree with you about Dave Robers, however. Gardner would make a fantastic pinch runner.

2008-07-10 09:12:38
11.   williamnyy23
9 Cano has been the a big problem this year, but his career sample still has him with an OPS+ of 110, which could be back on the rise if Robbie is ready for his second half rebound. What's more, Cano doesn't play good defense at 2B...he plays great defense. If Robbie can be more consistent and hit in the 110-120 OPS+ range, then his glove makes him an outstanding player, and not one you should look to trade so readily.
2008-07-10 09:15:32
12.   williamnyy23
9 Also, if OBP is your concern, Cano's 2007 line was .306/.353. That .47 spread is meaningful. If he can maintain that .50ish spread, I don't think getting on base enough will be a problem for Cano.
2008-07-10 09:29:35
13.   Chyll Will
5 "I'll throw a cutter in the ninth
until there's no bats left;
but hurry up, becuz the cutter
make ya bleed to death,
There's no kickin', fussin'
ain't no half-steppin';
the Yankees are live,
for the Series we're preppin'..."


2008-07-10 09:43:49
14.   cult of basebaal
what this team needs is a OF who can hit lefties, well, ideally, 2 OFs that could hit lefties, but i'll settle for finding one.

for all the crap i give melky (and when you have a sub .600 OPS+ two months running, you deserve a lot of crap) he's merely mediocre against right handed pitching. but against lefties ... he's a cesspool of suck. a progression of OPS+ from 86 (2006) to 63 to 58 is not acceptable, or sustainable.

the yanks need to find a veteran RH OF to spell melky. doesn't even have to be a CF as they can slide Damon over and put the bat in LF. don't know who it would be, since ideally, this would just be a platoon bat and occasional pinch hitter, but the yankees have to do something to improve their chances against lefties.

2008-07-10 09:48:41
15.   Schteeve
12 Right, that's the one season to which I was referring. So far this season, he hasn't maintained that line at all.

While I get that Cano's superb defense is an asset, and if he can just be ok with the bat, he's a great presence, I worry that his offensive value is all tied up in BA which we all know is a volatile stat. From my perspective his hitting approach hasn't changed one iota since he hit the big leagues.

I think one of the reasons I'm so sour on him is that at the beginning of the season, people were talking about how he would be one of the best hitters on the team. If the architects of the team were planning for that, they better find a viable plan B.

So far, with more than half the season gone, he has managed only 3 Total Win Shares (includes fielding, actually it's all fielding.) His approach at the plate is dismal. His power is non existent, because he will and does swing at ANYTHING.

I can't really chalk up 3 entire months to a "slump" or bad luck on balls in play. I'd love Robbie to mature, and develop a more selective approach and it's entirely possible that he will, but it's also entirely possible that his seeming stubborn refusal to change his approach will turn one of the most gifted players I've ever seen, into a case of "Hey, whatever happened to Robinson Cano?"

2008-07-10 09:50:31
16.   Shaun P
14 This wouldn't work for 2008, but for 2009, how about free agent to be Pat Burrell?
2008-07-10 09:56:18
17.   JL25and3
15 It's not quite fair to say that his offensive value is all in his BA, because he hits for enough power to be meaningful.

The problem with trading Cano is: what's your theory for second base after that? He has flaws, but as an everyday second baseman, he's pretty darn good. Frankly, it's not that easy to find a pretty darn good second baseman.

2008-07-10 09:58:23
18.   cult of basebaal
16 i think yankees pitchers would tremble in fear at the thought of burrell "patrolling" the spacious lands of LF in new yankees stadium. there's a reason they call him, "the bat".
2008-07-10 10:12:14
19.   Schteeve
17 Simply put, he makes too many outs. If he makes an out 70% of the time, I don't about his isolated slg.

Let me put it this way, keep Cano at second if you want, but you better add some insurance bats when Giambi and Abreu are gone because his is highly unreliable.

With Giambi likely gone, Jeter slugging like an old shortstop, Abreu likely gone, Melky being Melky, Posada being old and hurt, I am having a hard time figuring out where the runs are going to come from next year, and the year after that etc. See what I mean?

2008-07-10 10:22:57
20.   Schteeve
And frankly, this season, it's a total canard to say that he's a pretty darn good everyday second baseman. This season, he's pretty much the WORST everyday second baseman in the league based on TOTAL Win Shares. And it shouldn't be too surprising, because he can't take a walk to save his life, he is totally at the mercy of fluctuations in BA/BIP. He's also at the mercy of pitchers who seem to have figured out that you can throw pitches into the dugout and he'll have a go at them.
2008-07-10 10:23:01
21.   JL25and3
19 That may be true. but I'll ask again: what's your theory for second base? If there isn't enough pop in the lineup, I don't see replacing Cano as a solution. I doubt anyone else you'd get will significantly exceed his production.
2008-07-10 10:24:48
22.   JL25and3
20 If you think this season represents anything like Cano's real level of performance, then you're right. I'd disagree with the premise.
2008-07-10 10:30:06
23.   Schteeve
22 I think that this season is a great example of how volatile we can expect his "real performance" to be. Sometimes he'll hit like babe ruth for a few weeks or months maybe and then he'll do NOTHING for weeks or months or half the season.
2008-07-10 10:35:48
24.   Schteeve
last thing I'll say about this and thanks for indulging my rants:

If I were Cahsman, i would look at Cano and say, I can't project this guy to be a steady contributor to my offense. Sometimes he'll be hot shit, and sometimes he'll be atrocious. So If I need to put together a (conservatively) 960 run team in order to win this division, he's not a guy i can count with a lot of confidence.

On the bright side, the smart thing they did was backload his contract with option years and incentives, thankfully he's not outrageously expensive.

2008-07-10 10:47:17
25.   williamnyy23
24 You're right...the Yankees should be planning on building their offense around Cano, but that doesn't mean he isn't and can't be a very valuable asset. The defense speaks for itself and his offense is excellent for half a season. What the Yankees need to figure out is why he can't hit in the first half. Something tells me being only 25 has something to do with that.

Also, Robbie did get his BB total up to a respectable 40 last year. He is not far off the pace now, and should reach it if he goes on his customary hot streak. Remember, 40 walks was essentially the domain of Don Mattingly (minus his IBB, which were very high).

2008-07-10 11:35:17
26.   cult of basebaal
25 well, that's not the way things are trending. he had 7 walks in april. he's got 7 walks since, including a grand total of 2 since june 1st. his hot streak has not lead to him taking more walks.
2008-07-10 12:56:57
27.   OldYanksFan
7 My God William! Talk about selected data! ONE WHOLE WEEK! How about this:
May OPS: .589
Jun OPS: .544
'08 OPS: .666

"STUPIDLY": according to websters dictionary:
a talented baseball player who continues to strike out on eye level pitches in important game situations.

Are you looking for a fight William? We have all been watching these games together. Before this last week, for 2 straight months, Melky has been 'throw up in my mouth a little'.

A .570 OPS for TWO MONTHS! That's worse then Tek!

I like Melky. He is certainly more talented then Brett. I would love to see him become the smart, .775-.800 OPS guy we all believe he can be. But for the last 2 months he has been absolutely killing us.

Cano has indeed been terrible. Why... his numbers are almost identical to Melky's! Let's hope his .948 OPS in July is a sign he's coming out of it. With a career .805 OPS and an outstanding glove at 2nd, he is very important to us, especially in a year or 2.

2008-07-10 13:03:51
28.   OldYanksFan
Robbie grew up in the DR where I might assume he lived a 'modest' lifestyle? He is not only -only- 25, but he is also a recent multi-millionaire. Maybe he was dancing in the street or bathing in champagne when he should have been working out. I don't know, but I think he's an excellent player and will get better as he matures.

If not, the Yankees can hang a 6' x 6' autographed picture of Dustin Pedroia, 'All-Star 2nd baseman', up in the lockerroom and see how Robbie responds to that.

2008-07-10 13:11:34
29.   ChrisS
24 I don't think any team "conservatively" plans on 960 runs.

That's crazy.

Scoring 900 runs in a season is impressive.

Cano really has insane first/second half splits. I think he'll be alright. Not to make a direct comparison, but christ, Chase Utley didn't record a 120 OPS+ season until his age 26 season, Robbie's already had two before he turned 25. And it's not like Robbie is struggling with pitch selection, his K rate continues to trend downward (he's on pace to K less than 60 times this year). Since May 1st, his slash line is .301/.326/.429. Not terrible, but not what we expected from a guy that can put up a .900 OPS. His BABIP is still abysmally low for his LD% and my guess is that he's going to go on a Cano tear through July and August and he'll be just fine come season's end.

And he's still just 25. Of all the hitters on this team, I don't worry much about Cano, he's progressing and getting better. And for someone that the Yankees basically took a flier on, he's turned out just fine.

2008-07-10 13:34:17
30.   ChrisS
In any event, back to the thread topic. Yes, Mariano is joy to watch. Even his interview demeanor is special. There's a Buster Olney article linked in the comments over at RLYW that's just cool to read.

Mo's consistency is staggering, especially in a role where bullpen guys are maddeningly inconsistent. He has 12 (soon to be 13) straight years with an era+ over 140. No other closer really comes close. Though K-Rod has 6 straight and Hoffman has a string of outstanding years with a few clunkers in the middle (he's been incredibly good since day 1, as well).

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.