Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Fresh Start
2005-04-05 05:30
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Today marks the American League debut's of both Carl Pavano and Matt Clement, as the Yanks and Sox play this afternoon at the stadium. It is hazy but bright and sunny this morning and it looks like it's going to be a beautiful day here in New York.

Both Cliff and I felt the Yankees made an error in not signing Clement. He may be gargoyle-ugly, but he's got "nasty stuff" as they like to say. He could very well be the key to the Red Sox season. Numbers aside, I don't know so much from Pavano. He's seems appealing enough, but I don't know how effective a pitcher he is going to be for the Yanks.

Which pitcher would you rather have?

2005-04-05 05:54:37
1.   Knuckles
I don't want to get too into the 'who would you rather' game this early in the season, and am not looking forward to all the articles proclaiming the victor of these two signings tomorrow, after one game.

It's April 5- let's wait and see a bit. As much as I loved watching Boomer get lit up, he probably won't be that bad all year. Same goes for PavanoClement.

2005-04-05 06:09:52
2.   Dan M
Can I answer "Carlos Beltran"?
2005-04-05 06:19:42
3.   wishama
Jon Leiber
2005-04-05 06:38:34
4.   seamus
Both are quality pitchers. What matters is that I am happy we have Pavano. I'd love to have Clements and Lieber too. But I'm happy with what we do have. Both Clements and Pavano were good signings.
2005-04-05 06:54:35
5.   JVarghese81
I agree with Knuckles. It's def. too early...

However, I probably would have liked both (Pavano & Clement) rather than Pavano & Wright. Still, we have who we have and I'm really looking forward to seeing how both of these "young guns" can perform over the course of the year. Course, I'd like to see Wang get some work in too over the course of the year so MAYBE we won't spend tons for a replacement level pitcher at the back end of the rotation next year (though that certainly does seem far away now).

Here's to a good game where the Red Sox get pounded again and more people take the dive off the bandwagon.

2005-04-05 07:26:57
6.   jonblack
The last thing the Yankees need is another headcase pitcher. Haven't we suffered enough with Contreras and Vazquez? Clement is prone to meltdowns. He can't handle pressure. Everyone loves his "stuff" and you keep hearing how one day he'll finally break out and have a big season. Well, at what point do you question that? At what point do you stop giving someone the benefit of the doubt? Clement will strike out a lot of guys, but he'll also walk the ballpark. And he's wildly inconsistent. His career-best ERA is 3.60. He did okay for the Cubs in the playoffs in '03, though.

The thing I like about Pavano is that he's the anti-Vazquez. They say he's a perfectionist, but he doesn't look like the type of guy who would forget how to pitch because he has a lousy game. He seems levelheaded -- as does Wright -- and I think that's what this team needed. Guys who will go out and work hard and don't require a therapist every time they give up a home run. Plus Pavano finally had his big year. He proved that he could do it (at least once, which is better than Clement did).

They're both talented, and Clement is just fine as a number three (which he'll be once Schilling gets back), but purely from a mental standpoint, I'm glad they didn't go after Clement.

2005-04-05 07:54:02
7.   Larry Mahnken
I'll take Pavano, because he has a better winning percentage, and that's what it's all about.
2005-04-05 08:10:19
8.   Ben
Just following along when I read Jonblack's comments about Clement being erratic. This is not a prediction, but I'm pretty sure everyone said the same thing about Randy Johnson early in his career. Million dollar arm, five cent head, or at least five cent temper. You never know with these guys, maybe some of the more talented ones need a couple of years in the majors to get all the crap they've heard about their potential out of their system to really start pitching. No telling if Clement is one of those, but I guess the Sox have the funds to take the chance.

Personally I'm glad he's not on the Yanks cause I wouldn't recognize him without the goatee.

2005-04-05 12:05:56
9.   jalexei
It kills me to say it, 'cause he's my favorite Yankee, but Bernie is just godawful at the plate.

Hmmm... Bases loaded with one out as Bernie walks into the box? I called my coworker over to the ESPN gamecast thingy and told him I'd seriously, honestly, no joking around, buy him lunch for the entire week if Bernie did ANYTHING but hit into a double play....


As usual, my money's safe.

2005-04-05 13:13:43
10.   Matt B
As much as I too worry that Bernie is done, to be fair, he's always looked crappy in April, hasn't he?

Ugh...Varitek. That was not a very good pitch.

2005-04-05 13:28:47
11.   Knuckles
NYYFans is down- damn.

Bad day for NYY-BOS closers.

Mo owes Pavano a apology.

Matsui is pissed at Jeter because he wanted to hit the game winning HR.

2005-04-05 13:30:29
12.   wishama
When will Torre stop using Rivera against the Red Sox? He is down right awful against them.
2005-04-05 13:40:57
13.   yankeegirl26
Yikes about Mo! What happened there? He just cannot handle the Red Sox anymore, can he?

Was just imploring Jeter to hit a HR and finish them off when he did. Excellent.

2005-04-05 13:57:40
14.   domvjr
If they weren't in Mo's head before, surely they are now! He definitely has a problem closing that team out.
2005-04-05 14:05:29
15.   rbilotta

I had the same feeling you had. Bernie looks terrible. I hope its just an April, early season thing, but I think I am more worried about him than anyone else. (Well, except Wohack who will suck no matter what).

2005-04-05 14:09:03
16.   singledd
I have to agree with jonblack. Clement has a better 'upside' but also a proven 'downside'. You never know what someone will do changing teams, but one thing is for sure... you need to be cool (or really, really good) to play for the Yanks. It even got to ARod.

If Clement was a Yankee and had a bad beginning, I don't think he could take the fans booing. Might see a grown man cry.

2 out of 2 against the Sox. Nice beginning for 2005 after a bad ending to 2004.

2005-04-05 14:13:23
17.   singledd
P.S. So much has been written about Williams 'being done'... I hope he hasn't read that stuff.... looks like he might have. What I'm pissed about is Payton. He already played in NY, is good enough to start, but not that good that he won't accept being on the bench. I think he went cheap. He would have been perfect to back Bernie in CF.

It seems like the Sox get the good 'bang for the buck' support players while we are permanently in the 'Sojo/E. Wilson' mode.

2005-04-05 17:37:10
18.   Rich Lederer
If you're willing to look beyond this game AND adjust for park factors, I'll take Clement. Better stuff. More upside.

Pavano: Think Rick Rhoden. Tall RHP with xlnt control. He'll be solid but won't be anything more than that.

2005-04-05 17:46:43
19.   DaveinMD
Well the great saber genious Theo Epstein clearly preferred Pavano. If walks are good for hitters, giving up tons of walks is bad for hitters.
2005-04-05 19:04:54
20.   Alex Belth
I wouldn't read too much into Bernie. He missed some time in spring training and besides, he's traditionally a horrible hitter in April. If he stays healthy, there is no reason to believe that he won't get hot during the summer like he always does. The thing we can't expect is for him to stay hot for as long as he used to. Again, if he's healthy, he'll contribute some with the bat. He'll be better than Sierra and Tino, but not he's not a star anymore.

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