Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2005-10-31 05:56
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

As expected Theo Epstein will remain in Boston as the general manager of the Red Sox. Not much in the way of Yankee news today, but the Daily News reports that Luis Sojo may accept the managerial position down in Single A Tampa club, and Tony Pena might be offered the first base coaching gig with the big league club. The article suggests that Pena would be helpful both with the Latin players on the team as well as with the catchers.

2005-10-31 10:38:31
1.   Alex Belth
Over at Fox Sports, our pal Dayn Perry has an article up about ten underrated free agents.
On the list are two guys that may interest the Yanks:

"1. Brian Giles, RF

Giles will be 35 years old before opening day, which means he's not a good bet to return value on an extended long-term contract. But in the here and now, he's one of the best hitters in the game. This season, he finished third in the NL in OBP and put up a batting line of .333 AVG/.463 OBP/.545 SLG away from run-suppressing Petco. Giles has been performing at this level for years, and he's without a notable platoon weakness. He'd be a great fit for any win-now team in need of a middle-of-the-order bat.

4. B.J. Ryan, LHP

Billy Wagner will justifiably be the off-season prom queen among closers, but don't overlook Ryan. He's coming off his first season as a closer, so some GMs might (unwisely) view him as being unproven in the role. In any event, Ryan was utterly dominant in 2005 — 100 strikeouts in 70 innings, 26 walks and only four homers. And it's his second consecutive season performing at such a high level."

The Yankee organizational meetings, traditionally held in Tampa, are taking place in New York today (and I'm not sure, but probably for the next few days as well).

2005-10-31 11:12:12
2.   Nick from Washington Heights
What do people think of Julian Tavarez as a potential replacement for F-Rod and Sturtze? I know he's a raving lunatic a-hole, but he seems like a decent middle reliever?

Also, I wouldn't mind the Yanks trying to get Bradley from the Dodgers on the cheap. It seems now that Depo is gone, it will be a lot easier to get him. He might be a good stop-gap candidate for CF until Melky comes along in a couple of years.

2005-10-31 11:13:02
3.   Nick from Washington Heights
Wow! I just realized that I really have no respect for the concept of team chemistry. oh well.
2005-10-31 12:01:04
4.   sabernar
I'd be happy with signing Tavarez and Eyre, and maybe another decent RP. Keeping Cano and Wang. Maybe trading for Bradley IFF he comes cheap and we only have him for one year. All the other CF are going to be way too expensive. Torii Hunter is WAY overrated and we should stay away from him like the plague.

Of course, I really want Brian Giles for CF, but I'm not he can still play it or not, or he's willing to come to the Yanks, or if the Yanks would pay him as much as he wants for as long as he wants, considering his age and that we have Melky waiting in the wings.

Keep Pavano and Wang and Chacon along with Randy and Mussina as your starting give. Wright is the long man and fillin guy for when one of the pitchers gets injured.

It's not really a lot of movement, but I think that with the Yanks' offense, we just need our pitchers to be healthier this year. Of course, we could always go after Millwood and get rid of Pavano, but I think that if Pavano can stay healthy, he'll be a fine #3 pitcher.

2005-10-31 12:04:31
5.   Shaun P
Nice, Nick, very nice.

I think we Yankees fans have always known that "team chemistry" was overrated, at least since the Bronx Zoo Yanks of the late 70s. Credit where credit is due - go to WasWatching (and/or and you'll see a great post about some of the chemistry/character guys who've been on past Yankees-championship-winning teams, compliments of Raf and Lee Sinins. Hilarious stuff.

I'd love to have Brian Giles on the Yanks, but I heard a rumor that he either wants to stay on the West Coast or go play with his brother Marcus on the Braves. Can anyone confirm/deny these rumors? Any SD-resident Yankee fans out there?

2005-10-31 12:32:39
6.   sabernar
Brian Giles has about the same zone rating as Milton Bradley. And Giles started 15 games in CF last year.
2005-10-31 12:38:09
7.   Hank
Milton Bradley -- I believe -- has come to the end of his contract and is arbitration eligible. It's been pretty much assumed for the last three months that he would not be asked back in LA. I'd love to see him in New York.
2005-10-31 13:04:58
8.   Nick from Washington Heights
Steve Goldman and Steve Lombardi both don't like the idea of Tavarez, so I'll scrap his name from my off-season plans. They know a bit more than I do.
2005-10-31 13:06:11
9.   jedi
I like how the Yankees are approaching this offseason with the concept of attracting "AllStar" coaches, rather than players. Larry Bowa, Tony Pena, Lee Mazilli and Joe Kerrigan is a solid coaching staff. Each of these coaches should be a manager on any other team. This approach will prove dividends as we are stocking up on young players that need guidance and development. If there is anything to come of these offseason moves, I think just knowing that we have a solid coaching staff built around Cashman and Torre is gratifying enough for our future.

We are laying the foundation gentlemen. Role players are next...

2005-10-31 13:20:04
10.   Alex Belth
Yo, add me to the list of characters who do not like Tavarez--don't like anything about the dude. Nothing. Giles, I like, even if he is old and wouldn't helpt the team defensively. Tavarez: feh.
2005-10-31 13:35:56
11.   Max
What everyone said...screw Tavarez.

sabernar, Millwood will not go near the Yankees with Kerrigan around.

2005-10-31 13:44:07
12.   nickb
Jedi - I agree with your take with the exception of one point: Tony Pena should NOT be a manager. As a long-suffering Royals fan, his tenure in KC was a disaster. We did have one winning season under his watch, but it was as flukey as flukey comes. His strengths definitely lean toward the relationship/teaching side as opposed to the game management side. I think he would do quite well as a first base coach and Latino ambasssador, but I'd make sure he doesn't cuddle up to Torre or Steinbrenner if I were you...
2005-10-31 13:47:03
13.   Dimelo
Just read this at WasWatching.

This is hilarious....Tony Pena is quite the ladies man. Just for that, I think he should be a coach on the Yankees next year.

2005-10-31 13:52:12
14.   Rob
I qualify as one of the SD Yankees fans and I've heard nothing about either Giles being interested in NY, or NY making any moves towards him (explicitly). The scuttlebutt around here has Giles going to St. Louis, Oakland or Dodgers. Personally, I'd love to see him in pinstripes. He's not a #4 batter, but he'd be a really nice addition to the Yanks, especially for 3 years.

See last paragraph here:

2005-10-31 14:09:53
15.   Shaun P
Thanks Rob - if St. Louis is a possibility, then it means Giles must be considering more places beyond the West Coast. And if the Red Sox get in on it, I'm sure that will perk the Yanks' interest!

Interesting that Ramon Hernandez is on his way out of SD, but I'm not sold on him coming to the Yanks as Posada's co-catcher/successor. I like Hernandez a lot better than Bengie Molina, though.

2005-10-31 14:32:52
16.   Paul in Boston
Hey, breaking news in Boston; Theo's leaving:

Amazing news, isn't it? Say what you will about Steinbrenner, but he always said Lucchino was a snake.

2005-10-31 14:54:30
17.   Dimelo
Wow...I am shocked. I am guessing he's going to pursue work outside of baseball, I believe his brother runs some charitable organizations and he's always wanted to be a part of that. I never disliked Theo and I admired the way he carried himself. Good luck to him and, as Paul says, it only proves Georgie was right all along...Lucchino is a snake.

Red Sox nation lost a great mind, the PR backlash is going to be huge. I'll just sit-back and crack up at the spin that's going to come out of Boston and the Red Sox. By the end of the week we'll be getting reports that Theo has been hiding WMDs, he visited a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan and was in a sex tape similar to R-Kelly's. Boston fans, media and the Red Sox are going to be ruthless. They've never heard the term, "both sides decided to depart amicably".

Again…good luck Theo and F- the Sawx.

2005-10-31 14:55:33
18.   rbj
A Giants' smack down on the Redskins, and now Theo's bailing. And hey, it is only Monday, and Halloween to boot. This is shaping up to be a great week.
2005-10-31 15:05:59
19.   Marcus
You know, it's a lot easier to hate a team when the team has some "villains", and Theo surely wasn't a villain, at least to me. I have to say I have a lot of respect for the guy for walking away from such a marquee job where he was just about to make the big bucks. Of course he'll be able to make the big bucks with some other team, but it still takes some balls to walk away like that.

Larry Lucchino on the other hand, easily goes down as a villain. And it sounds like Curly Haired Boyfriend is at least a player in Theo's decision to leave. That's priceless.

I'm sure the Red Sox will be alright, but it is nice to sit back and relax, knowing the Yankees have things pretty much in control going into the offseason. Sports media seemed to be licking their chops for a Bronx Zoo implosion after the opening round loss, but now the onus seems to have flipped over to Yawkey Way.

Looks like the honeymoon is over for the 2004 World Champions...

2005-10-31 15:11:29
20.   Nick from Washington Heights
I jusrt started listening to Mike and the Angry Puppy. What does Shaunnesey have to do with Theo leaving. Napolean Dynamite brings sown the Socks!
2005-10-31 15:23:19
21.   Knuckles
The Giants beat down the Skins (a double plus for someone living in DC, like me). I got a huge and unexpected raise last week. NBA is starting up tomorrow and both Nets and Knicks look to be fun to watch. And now Theo is gone and the Sox front office and hierarchy is making the Yanks dysfunctional family look like the Cosbys. As Bill Simmons might say, "Good times."
2005-10-31 15:46:22
22.   Marcus
From the above link about Theo's departure:

"A leading contributing factor, according to sources close to the situation, was a column in Sunday's Boston Globe in which too much inside information about the relationship between Epstein and his mentor, team president and CEO Larry Lucchino, was revealed -- in a manner slanted too much in Lucchino's favor."

That was Shaughnessy's column. Unfortunately the column is registration only, so I've only seen snippets.

2005-10-31 21:32:58
23.   singledd
Shaughnessy has a terrible nose for baseball. Aside from his article about Theo 'resigning' with the Sox, there was his proclamation last year (mid season) that the Sox would run away with the division.

Things must be bad for a home-town boy like Theo, who was instrumental in the Sox winning in '04, to leave Boston. We hear a lot about George and Cash, but shit must have been flying in Beantown for a while.

Theo's a good man. Boston's loss is our gain.

2005-10-31 22:26:22
24.   Zack
I am really shocked that Theo left. I can't imagine him leaving baseball, but see him goign to a smaller market team to try and pull a Billy Bean and stick it to Luchino. It will be interesting to see what direction the Sox take now, both with GM and with their roster. It may be a very different Sox team next year, hopefully making them much worse...

With all the talk about no privacy in Boston and the intense hype/glare, it makes you wonder: I mean, even Wells complained about Boston's atmosphere, and he thrived in NYC, is Boston that much worse? Cashman has stuck around under George and with the NY media, what makes Boston so much worse?

2005-10-31 23:46:43
25.   Adam B
Seeing as the Globe is part owners of the Red Sox, many are speculating that the article in the Globe was written by Lucchino.

Also, I don't want Tavarez, as he's a bit of a wild pitcher (8 hit batters and 1 wild pitch?) and relies a little bit too much on the defense for a set up man. Scott Eyre I'm not a big fan of either as he had a career year in his contract year and has only had 3 years with sub 4 ERAs and none of them are consecutive. (In fact they've happened in 2001, 2003 and 2005. Anybody want him in 2007 instead?)

2005-11-01 05:49:31
26.   Bags
Zack -

I heard a theory somewhere once that Boston is the toughest media market in the country due to the fact that it is the largest city with only one baseball team. In markets like NY, Chicago, LA, etc., the two team system diffuses tension, etc. Situation is further exacerbated by fact the the Patriots serves as all of New England's team. Thus the Sox are the focus of a lot of media scrutiny.

2005-11-01 07:15:20
27.   pistolpete
Theo's had the unfortunate experience of being the first Boston GM in 86 years to actually WIN something for the Red Sox - now how was he EVER going to top that feat?

The pressure ultimately would have gotten to him - better he leaves now with his legacy intact that suffer 10 more years of no championships and be run out of town on a rail by the fickle Bostonians...

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