Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Lu Lu
2008-10-15 05:09
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Mmm, Mmm, Good.


I have watched all of the playoff games but it wasn't until Willie Aybar's blast last night that I made an audible noise.  I jumped up off the couch and yelled, then crossed the room to high five my wife.  She saw me coming and was scared, so she slipped her hand behind her back like a turtle retreating into its shell.  She didn't want any part of a stinger.

I watched the game last night with a mixture of glee and dread.  I've effectively blocked out most of the details of the 2004 collapse but it won't ever go away, at least not yet.  And of course, the Indians blew a 3-1 lead against the Sox last season too, so no, I don't think Boston is out of it.  I won't believe the Sox are done until they are done.  Dude, I was nervous when they scored their fourth run of the game last night, and when I went over the possible pitching match-ups for Games 5, 6, and 7, I convinced myself that the Rays are in trouble.

Still, that game was a Lu Lu.  And when I wasn't being nuerotic, I enjoyed every last minute of it. 

2008-10-15 05:58:43
1.   Sliced Bread
As we dread the improbable...
Madonna as the next 3b coach? [shiver]
2008-10-15 06:09:12
2.   Sliced Bread
think about it...
She's in town. She's "available." She has "A League of Their Own" cred (can catch a ball in her hat). And she's with the third baseman. Oy.
2008-10-15 07:42:02
3.   JL25and3
To me, that name conjures up visions of Ed Norton sleepwalking.
2008-10-15 07:51:27
4.   Dimelo
Last night's game was awesome. All I was wondering was how great it'd be if the Yanks had a third basemen like Longoria. That guy sure knows how to carry a team, especially when his team needs him most.

So if Youk plays 3rd next year, it's quite possible the Yanks can have the 3rd BEST 3rd basemen in the AL East. Just say'in....can we all get in on a chant: "9 more years, 9 more years"? I'm excited, thanks Hank!!!

2008-10-15 08:05:17
5.   williamnyy23
3 Lulu!!
2008-10-15 08:08:07
6.   Shaun P
The Rays, to me, have a 1996 Yanks' vibe around them. Anyone else agree?
2008-10-15 08:09:14
7.   tommyl
4 Ugh, seriously? A-Rod was better than both of them this year. As for "clutch" hitting, well its been pretty well shown that its not a repeatable skill. Two cases in point:

1. A-Rod last year was as clutch as they come during the season. Not so much this year.

2. Big Papi has done little to nothing, as has Pedroia so far this postseason.

A-Rod is one of the all time greatest players in history. I don't love him, but he's a better player than them this year.

A-Rod 65.6
Youklis: 55.8
Longoria: 34.8

And that's with A-Rod missing almost a month.

2008-10-15 08:09:44
8.   tommyl
6 Definitely, though they are missing the Doc Gooden no hitter, and they are a bit late on Wade Boggs ;)
2008-10-15 08:16:34
9.   williamnyy23
6 Not really...the 1996 Yankees were a much more experienced team. Girardi, Boggs, Duncan, O'Neill, Strawberry, Raines, Fielder, Key, Cone, etc. were all major contributors. That team struck me more as a gritty veteran team with many hungry guys striving for that first ring. The Rays are more like a precocious group of kids who don't know that they should be in over their heads. Also, the 1996 Yankees were the culmination of two pretty good teams in 1994-95, while the Rays are an out of no where, feel good story.
2008-10-15 08:17:55
10.   williamnyy23
7 Tommy, tommy,'s hard to do, but when Dimelo goes into his periodic anti-Arod rants, it's probably best to ignore it.
2008-10-15 08:19:40
11.   Dimelo
7 So why is Youk being talked about as an MVP candidate and ARod is not? Judging from those stats, ARod was better.

I agree on clutch hitting statistics, but you can't disagree that ARod is tight when it's playoff time. What's his VORP then?

Longoria missed a large part of the season too. Are you saying that if you were offered Longoria for ARod that you wouldn't make that deal? Good riddins is what I say.

2008-10-15 08:19:52
12.   tommyl
10 Eh, what else do I have to do? Talk about the third base coaching vacancy? sigh.
2008-10-15 08:21:33
13.   tommyl
11 You're going to hold up the esteemed judgement of the BBWA as your definition of better player? The one that gave the MVP to Morneau a couple of years ago? The one that rewards any 20 game winner with an automatic Cy Young? The one that thinks K-Rod is the greatest closer ever?

Well, I guess I'll stop arguing now then.

2008-10-15 08:22:07
14.   vockins
7 Longoria also missed a month.
2008-10-15 08:22:56
15.   tommyl
11 Ugh, A-Rod=tight during playoff time? Except in all the time pre-Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS? And last year, wasn't it him hitting a HR in game 4 while Jeter GIDP after GIDP, killing the Yankees best rally? I guess we should get rid of Jeter too, huh?
2008-10-15 08:23:58
16.   tommyl
14 Fair enough, but his VORP is almost half of A-Rod's. Now, as for the swap, all things being equal, yeah I'd take Longoria because he's a lot cheaper and a lot younger, but that doesn't make him the better player.
2008-10-15 08:25:07
17.   williamnyy23
12 Good point...have at it!
2008-10-15 08:25:24
18.   Mattpat11
Watching Edwin Jackson last night reminded me how much fun we're going to have with AJ next year.
2008-10-15 08:27:33
19.   Shaun P
10 You took the words right out of my mouth . . . err, right off my screen. =)

9 Not the composition of the team, or their surroundings. As you've laid out, they are quite different.

Just the vibe I get watching them: relaxed, loose, they have nothing to lose and they keep on winning.

2008-10-15 08:29:26
20.   Shaun P
18 I know why you keep saying the Yanks are going to sign AJ, mattpat. You need someone to fill the hole the trade of Farnsworth left in your heart. =)
2008-10-15 08:30:12
21.   Dimelo
I love talking about ARod, it's like talking about creationism versus evolution with an evangelical priest from Kansas.

ARod is great!!! Nuff said, happy Williamnyy23?

2008-10-15 08:33:26
22.   Mattpat11
20 I know it because I've watched this organization blatantly disregard player histories over and over and over again over the last X number of years.

I will be floored if we don't sign Burnett. Happy, but floored.

After all, if you disregard Burnett's history before this year, and his ERA, ERA+, walk rate and WHIP this year, which the Yankees are very good at doing, AJ is the bestest!

2008-10-15 08:40:30
23.   williamnyy23
22 Burnett definitely has an injury history, but he is a pretty solid arm. Now, that doesn't mean he is worth the contract he is going to get (then again, when you look at the Carlos Silva deal, perhaps every pitcher is worth what they get), but he would not be an awful signing if all the other better options do not come to fruition.
2008-10-15 08:41:48
24.   tommyl
21 Dude, where in my citing of facts did I come off as a creationist?
2008-10-15 08:44:56
25.   Mattpat11
23 Sabathia or nothing.

I don't want the Yankees to pay upwards of 15 mil per year for the privilege of watching AJ Burnett walk the ballpark 19 games a year.

2008-10-15 08:45:12
26.   williamnyy23
22 Also, when you compare Burnett and Beckett, are the two pitchers really that much different? While that might not say much for Burnett, I think it does show just how overrated Beckett is.
2008-10-15 08:48:06
27.   tommyl
25 Burnett is going to be Carl Pavano ver 2. I say stay away, far away. He's one of those "great stuff" guys who never seems to be able to put it together for a full season, and he's hurt all the time. The one thing this team needs in pitching is an innings eater, AJ is not it. I remain intrigued by Derek Lowe.
2008-10-15 08:49:00
28.   williamnyy23
25 Sabathia or nothing leaves open the possibility of Rasner or Kennedy or even a Ponson in the rotation. I don't think things can be so cut and dried.

I think you are also off base about the WHIP/BBs...Burnett's career WHIP is a pretty solid 1.284, and he has averaged 3.4 BBs/9inn over the past four seasons. The question with AJB is health. If you could guarantee he would not get injured, then I think he would be a very good signing.

2008-10-15 08:54:02
29.   Dimelo
21 Sorry, didn't mean you were advocating for creationism. Its just the tone of each argument causes people to fall on one side of the argument and it gets discussed with similar passion and fervor.
2008-10-15 08:54:56
30.   Dimelo
TommyL, 29 was meant to answer 24 .
2008-10-15 09:10:36
31.   Mattpat11
26 You're not reassuring me. Burnett is also three years older, and walks an assload more people.

He's not nearly as good of a investment as Beckett, whom you admit is overrated.

2008-10-15 09:13:53
32.   williamnyy23
31 My point is Burnett, whose career WHIP is in line with Beckett's, would be a valuable member of any rotation, if he could stay healthy. You seem to be harping on Burnett not being any good to begin with, but that's just not true.
2008-10-15 09:14:31
33.   Mattpat11
28 Signing Burnett creates those same problems when we have to fill the 18 games AJ will miss next year. And with the Yankees front office's infatuation with Ponson, you know ol Sidney will be back.
2008-10-15 09:16:30
34.   pistolpete
6 More like an '03 Marlins or a '91 Twins, IMO.
2008-10-15 09:18:17
35.   tommyl
32 The other problem is that Burnett will likely require an expensive and lengthy contract. I don't want to see how he declines in his age 34 and 35 seasons based on his injury history. Like I said above, this team needs someone who can pitch 200+ innings next year. Burnett is not it.
2008-10-15 09:21:12
36.   williamnyy23
34 The 2003 Marlins seems the most apt to me. If any team reminds me of the 1996 Yankees, it would be the Phillies.
2008-10-15 09:25:14
37.   pistolpete
36 If you ask a lot of people, the Sox are the dynasty Yankees reborn.

Purely from the standpoint of the makeup of the players, that is...

2008-10-15 09:31:07
38.   JL25and3
11 Because the Red Sox made the playoffs and the Yankees didn't.
2008-10-15 09:32:18
39.   williamnyy23
37 I think those people would be mistaken. For starters, there is very little link left between this team and the 2004 championship. What's more the Red Sox currently only have two pennants and one division championship. With all due respect to Boston, the Yankees from 1996 to 2001 had a much more consistent core and also much more success (5 divisions, 5 penants, 4 championships).

Also, the personality of the recent Red Sox has bordered between idiots and scrappers, whereas the Yankees always exuded quiet efficiency. I look at the Yankee dynasty as blue blood to the Red Sox, well, red necks.

2008-10-15 09:59:56
40.   ms october
am i the only one that finds it odd that meachem and harkey were supposedly crashing at giriardi's place? (via pete abe from the post)

where's oyf to weigh in on those sleepovers.

36 i agree with both comparisons - the philllies-yanks are a bit more of a stretch but some elements are there.
the only thing with the rays is i doubt they have a fire sale after this year.

2008-10-15 10:32:22
41.   pistolpete
39 The one thing I would argue in favor or the comparison is that the 1998 Yankees also looked very different in many ways than the '96 team, while still retaining the 'core' that brought them to glory the first time around.

Half the infield had been replaced, the rotation was almost completely different, and a lot of the bench players were new as well.

Sounds like a fair assessment of the differences between the '04 and '07 Sox, no? w

2008-10-15 10:54:08
42.   Seaver
26 Beckett overrated? Maybe you should take a look at his post season numbers, as well as Game 6 of the 2003 World Series again.
2008-10-15 10:54:39
43.   williamnyy23
41 The 1998 had the following holdovers from 1996...Girardi, Tino, Jeter, Posada, Bernie, O'Neill, Straw, Sojo, Andy, Cone, Mendoza, Nelson and Rivera.

The 2007 Red Sox had the following holdovers: Varitek, ManRam, Papi, Youk (only 2 ABs in the 2004 post season), Timlin, Schill and Wakefield.

I think 13 versus 7 is a pretty significant difference.

2008-10-15 10:57:12
44.   williamnyy23
42 No...I think I'll look at his career numbers instead of just two excellent post seasons. There's this little thing called sample size that factors into statistical analysis. Besides, who knows, if Beckett has another outing like his last two, his post season stats might not even look so pretty anymore. His LCS ERA is already up to 4.30.
2008-10-15 11:05:15
45.   pistolpete
I wouldn't consider Luis Sojo, Ramiro Mendoza and Posada as 'core' guys from 1996.

However if you're going to be completely literal and simply count roster holdovers, then I suppose you win that argument. :-P

2008-10-15 11:17:04
46.   williamnyy23
45 Fair enough, but Youkilis wasn't a core guy in 2004, and Wakefield only started one game in 2007. So, whether it's the literal 13-7 or the more practical 10-6, I think the Yankee team maintained more of a core for a longer period (keeping in mind that the number of players on 2004, 2007 and a potential third WS would be down to Varitek, Ortiz and a ravaged Timlin and Wakefield).
2008-10-15 11:39:44
47.   pistolpete
46 Right, the comparison looks fair now, but the Red Sox 'core' may very well be completely dissipated very soon. If Varitek and Ortiz keep hitting this way and Wakefield keeps getting bombed, that is.

Meanwhile, the Yankees' dynasty 'core' lasted another 5 seasons after their first title and was largely productive during that time.

2008-10-15 11:42:08
48.   williamnyy23
47 Which is more my point...the Yankee "core" was larger, lasted longer and was more successful. Before anyone should even consider comparing the current Red Sox to the Yankees dynasty, let's at least see them win another championship.
2008-10-15 12:01:35
49.   pistolpete
I agree, but all I said was that it looked 'fair' at the moment... :)

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