Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
On the Seventh Day...Bombs Away
2005-05-15 06:03
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

It was shortly after eleven o'clock last night when I went to get the car. My cousin's wedding reception, which was held in a cool French bistro on 5th avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, made for a lovely evening. The car was a couple of blocks away and when I turned on the radio, the Yanks were comfortably ahead, 15-3 (Rodriguez, Jeter, Posada, and yes, that man Martinez, all homered, while Godzilla had four hits, including three doubles.) I'll leave the real recap to Cliff, who I assume watched it. Instead, here are some quick links to what's what in the Sunday papers:

Things might be going from bad to worse for Jason Giambi. Last night, a fan threw a beer on him. He also spoke to reporters and told them how "pissed" he was about being asked to go to the minors. This does not bode well for him. Giving the Boss an excuse to lay into him publicly is not wise.

According to the New York Post, Ruben Sierra, who will start a rehab assignment early this week, could be back with the team next weekend.

Joe Torre is eager to get Bernie Williams a start, and it may even be in center field. Pat Borzi has a feature on how Bernie is adjusting to life on the pine today in the Times.

Mike Mussina said he felt as good as he has all year on Friday night. Our labelmate Jon Weisman covered the Yankee right-hander when he pitched for Stanford. Today, he's reprinted an article he wrote about Moose back in 1988. Be sure to check it out.

Randy Johnson is on the hill later this afternoon as the Yanks go for the sweep.

2005-05-15 07:17:41
1.   markp
What he said was that he was pissed about them going public with him being asked about a demotion, and doing it before notifying him about it. He's right. They went about it all wrong and embarrassed him needlessly. I don't think there are a lot of players that would have been happy with their methods. I also think most people commenting on it wouldn't be on management's side if Tino or Derek were involved, but have no problem with it when it's Giambi (or Brown or Arod.)
Why should Giambi care if the Boss starts mouthing off again? Torre's going to give him plenty of ABs-especially now that he's actually getting hits and driving the ball-and the rhetoric in the press has already been about as negative as it can get. Since the Boss doesn't address players directly, but uses the press, the anti-Giambi articles will have almost exactly the same amount of vitriol whether George says anything or not.
2005-05-15 07:53:58
2.   singledd
I agree. It's downright criminal to let the press know before Giambi. Incredible! Jetes was hitting .200 in May last year. Imagine doing that to him.

Lets remember that over the past 15 years, hundreds of players have used steroids and thousands have used 'uppers' or other 'suppliments'. What Jason did was very wrong and he has paid a MUCH steeper price then anyone... playing, health, career and reputation... all shot.

Lets look at how much bad press current players who have been caught have gotten. Literally none.

If the Yanks are trying to motivate Giambi, how did they screw up so badly? Did they think a little more public humiliation would help? There are a NUMBER of quality players in slumps, batting around the Mendoza line. Any of them headed for the minors? It's a fine idea to explore in private, but I am tired of the pile on mentality that follows Jason around.

Play him or cut him... whatever is best for the team. But allow him any dignity he might have left.

I think the Yankees owe him a PUBLIC apology.

2005-05-15 08:06:22
3.   singledd
I gotta ask....
While Womack is having about as good a year as we could hope for, and Bernie has started off poorly, is there anyone who prefers Womack in left to Bernie? Bernie was considered a defensive liability in CF... but would he be worse in LF then Womack? Would you rather have Bernie batting 2nd or Womack? Put Womack in against righties a few days a week, but I say lets see how Bernie does in LF 5 out of 7 games.

I still think Bernie will produce offensively much better then Womack. Defensive wise.... hard to say... but Bernie CAN'T be that much worse. Cliff and Alex... how about a head-to-head analysis of Bernie VS Womack in LF.

2005-05-15 08:47:31
4.   markp
I agree that Bernie would be more valuable in LF than Womack-if Greg Luzinski and Wally Post could be starting LFs for really good teams then Bernie can, too. His arm isn't really much worse than Roy White's was (actually, Mickey Rivers probably is about on a par, too.) But if not Bernie, then at least somebody with a career OPS+ 25 points better than Womack.

Of course that's not what's going to happen. Womack will stay in LF until catastrophe strikes, and probably even after that.

2005-05-15 09:20:06
5.   Alex Belth
MarkP. Good point. I apologize for not reading the article thoroughly enough, and not reporting it correctly.
2005-05-15 09:20:40
6.   singledd
Hey markp....
Knowing Torre, if Bernies elbow is OK, he will be back in the outfield. Is Torre gonna shift Matsui back to LF and play Bernie in CF? I think we have to consider Matsui our CF, and get Bernie some practice in LF. Especially, if either Sierra of Giambi gets hot, Bernie will ride the bench.... so having him practiced and available for LF seems to make sense.

This also puts Womack on the bench (some) and makes him available to pinch run when a stolen base is needed. Bewteen a few starts a week and replacing Bernie for blowouts, Womack will also stay relatively fresh.

2005-05-15 09:27:14
7.   singledd
I don't want to see old man Tino overworked. Shouldn't we put Phillips in for blowouts like last night, and keep Tino as fresh as possible? (Phillips is still with us, isn't he?) Or even Giambi?
2005-05-15 10:35:18
8.   brockdc
Would you let yourself be mistreated for a million bucks? Two million? How about 82 million?

Let's put this into some kind of perspective.

Many of us have had (or do have)jobs at which we don't get the respect and treatment that we feel we deserve. Every day, people are overworked, underpaid, unappreaciated, and just plain abused by their employers. Let's not feel too sorry for Mr. Giambi.

2005-05-15 10:39:50
9.   Simone
I don't care that Giambi is pissed off by the Yankees leaking info to the media. Quite frankly, he and the Yankees deserve each other. The Yankees knew about the steroid rumors and signed Giambi anyway because all they cared about was his bat so they just have to suck it up. The fact that Giambi is a whiner, liar and cheat is irrelevant. The Yankees just need to help Giambi to start hitting. He needs to contribute to this team so that they can make the playoffs.
2005-05-15 15:22:13
10.   singledd
Me thinks we have a real 2nd baseman. 3 for 4, .308 BA. Go Cano.
2005-05-15 16:03:37
11.   jayd
"a whiner, liar, and a cheat"? He told the truth to a grand jury (something we shouldn't know at all, by the way)and has been open to the press, while rarely, if ever, losing his composure. It's almost impossible to follow these things in the media, so why bother. If he's all of those things, then why isn't he playing for the RS?

Cano, our PolanCano -- make that 4 for 5. I apologize for my prediction that the kid would be hitting .300 by the end of the road trip. .325 baby!

2005-05-15 16:58:55
12.   rbj
Woo hoo, .500! Now we need to take 2 of 3 from the Mariners. And a double from Jason, hopefully it is the start of a hot streak.
2005-05-15 17:31:32
13.   weeping for brunnhilde
Cano! Man, this kid can flat-out hit! I've had the pleasure of seeing him on the television the past couple of days and he's something to watch. He goes down and gets the ball, hits the other way, and with authority. His swing is so nice and easy and he just hits it where it's pitched.

I sure am looking forward to watching him develop. Of course, if he really shows signs of enduring talent, they'll probably trade him for a pitcher who fails to perform in the Bronx.

Wouldn't it be fun to watch this kid, Nick and Sori all develop together?

Remember how thrilling Mattingly was in 1984? Watching him hit like that in his first full season redeemed an otherwise mediocre year for the Yanks. Let's hope Cano continues and gives us--win, lose or draw--something to get excited about!

2005-05-15 17:34:46
14.   alasky
not to rain on the parade....TINO TINO...but can we let "polancano" draw one walk before we get too excited about him...but anyway, TINO TINO
2005-05-15 17:34:47
15.   alasky
not to rain on the parade....TINO TINO...but can we let "polancano" draw one walk before we get too excited about him...but anyway, TINO TINO
2005-05-15 17:43:05
16.   weeping for brunnhilde
Wasn't aware of the walk situation. From what I've seen, he doesn't look wildly undisciplined...

Does he swing at pitches off the plate? Today (it's true) I saw him lace a hit to right on a pitch that seemed to be around his shoetops, but it was over the plate.

2005-05-15 18:21:08
17.   JeremyM
Mattingly never walked much either, to run with your comparison. If Cano is getting good pitches to hit, I'd rather he hit them. Hopefully, he can keep this up, it's fun to have some new, young blood on the team.
2005-05-15 18:32:03
18.   markp
Jeremy: exactly. 22 year-olds tend to have low walk rates. Walking a lot is what Bill James described as an "old man skill". I think he has a few mentors on the team as far as learning how to use the strike zone to his advantage.
2005-05-15 18:43:23
19.   alasky
listen, I agree with all of that, and it's been an exciting 2 days, but I think that everyone would be able to agree that not drawing walks s not a great sign. He's hit above 280 at exactly 1 level the past 3 years, so to expect him to be a .300 hitter so quickly without a bump in plate disciipline 1st may be a bit unrealistic.
2005-05-15 18:51:46
20.   murphy
while being 26th in runs against is nothing to write home about, being 1st in runs scored rules!!!
2005-05-15 19:55:54
21.   weeping for brunnhilde
alasky--your point is well-taken and I expect nothing. All I know is from what I've seen the last couple of days, he looks like a natural. Sori, for example, isn't a natural. He lives off his batspeed, crushing mistakes and hitting bad pitches with reasonable success. But it's his savage aggression combined with prodigious batspeed that carries him.

Cano, on the other hand, seems mechanically sound, hitting the ball where it's pitched, exhibiting very nice form and balance.

markp--as to walking being an old man's skill perhaps, which is what made Nickie so promising and such a maddening pleasure to watch. He didn't swing at ANYTHING. So often I'd watch him just take a fastball right down the middle and not offer, only to walk in the end. It was great to see such discipline in a youngster (especially when contrasted with Sori) but it was over the top at times. The two of them were perfect complements to each other. But alas, they've been sent off into the four winds, languising in DC and Texas.

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