Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2005-11-02 05:35
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

As Yankee executives meet today again to discuss the team's Hot Stove agenda, Theo Epstein is scheduled to address the media and detail why he's decided to leave the Red Sox. Be sure and check out Bill Simmons' take, as well as Christina Kahrl's piece too (subscription required). As noted in our comments section yesterday, Steven Goldman hit the nail on the head in the latest edition of The Pinstriped Bible:

Before casting aspersions on anyone else's evil empire, make sure your own house is in order. This is the lesson to be drawn from the departure of Theo Epstein from the Boston Red Sox. As they have so many times, the Red Sox have handed the Yankees an unearned victory.

...The Boston contretemps makes for a pointed contrast to the way that George Steinbrenner was able to focus these last few weeks and understand that his management structure had become unstructured, his general manager unmanned, his manager isolated, tired, and nervous. Rather than bringing in his baleful broom (1978 Lou Piniella model), he reshuffled the deck and put things into a rational order. Whether things stay that way is anyone's guess — given history, probably not — but as long as the order is maintained through the winter, when all the important decisions are made, it won't matter as much if things become disordered in May. The important thing was, whatever his disagreements with Joe Torre and Brian Cashman, whatever the Tampa Grumblers were whispering in his ear, the owner was able to put those things aside and weigh whether Cashman and Torre were employees worth retaining. Deciding in the affirmative, Steinbrenner committed himself to making it work.

And this from Joel Sherman's column today in the Post:

"The Red Sox are in utter chaos right now, a GM said in what felt like a summation. "The Red Sox have chased the Yankees for so long, and now they have caught them, they are as chaotic as the Yankees."

..."We had the appearance of complete chaos aft the 1995 season, when Buck [Showalter] left, and Stick [Gene Michael] was re-assigned, and we made a bunch of unpopular moves," [Brian] Cashman said. "And from those ashes something else rose in 1996 (a world championship). So we need to be very cautious. Boston lost a great executive in Theo, but that ownership group already has shown what it is capable of by hiring Theo. For the Yankees to take advantage, we better soley concentrate on our problems."

Heating Up

The Yankee coaching staff just got a bit hotter as the team officially announced Larry Bowa as its new third base coach. Tony Pena is expected to replace Luis Sojo at first, and Ron Guidry is the front-runner to become the new pitching coach (with Joe Kerrigan operating out of the bullpen). It is anticipated that Lee Maz will be Joe Torre's bench coach as well.

As reported yesterday, Derek Jeter has won his second consecutive Gold Glove. He is the only Yankee to win nab one this year.

2005-11-02 06:42:59
1.   Shaun P
Can't wait to hear what Theo has to say this afternoon at his press conference. I wonder if Shaughnessy will be in attendence?

Glad to see Cashman is saying all the right things. Let's hope the NY press doesn't start calling for him to hurry up and sign Johnny Damon while the Red Sox are in 'chaos' still.

2005-11-02 07:31:09
2.   Alex Belth
I'm with you, I liked hearing that from Cashman (not that I would have expected anything different).
2005-11-02 07:34:27
3.   Ben
Good article linked to Bill Simmins. I agree about Cashman too, the Yanks seem to be making the right moves so far. Right now in Yankee land it feels like the begining of a snow storm on 96th and Broadway, it's quiet, muffled, and an odd sense of sanity pervades.
2005-11-02 10:23:50
4.   Alex Belth
1:22. is carrying Epstein's press conference right now. The guy isn't saying anything. He's talking about how great the Red Sox are, not talking badly about anyone...blah, blah, blah.
2005-11-02 10:43:30
5.   Alex Belth
I have to say though, there is a lot of skill that is required to essentially say nothing inflammatory. The body language is interesting to watch. Now, J. Henry is talking. He seems a little peeved, but he's pretty well put together. Man, the days of the Bronx Zoo are long over. I doubt they could ever exist again so freely in the Internet Age. Too bad that dysfunctional teams sound so "together." That goes for the Yanks, Dodgers, and Orioles too.
2005-11-02 10:47:42
6.   Alex Belth
Man, it is awkward hearing Henry defend Lucchino and expressing his displeasure with Epstein's choice with Theo standing just a few feet away.
2005-11-02 12:07:07
7.   kylepetterson
According to Maz already has joined the ranks.

2005-11-02 12:46:03
8.   Rob
What's up with Lawton supposedly being the steroid abuser?
2005-11-02 13:34:44
9.   Shaun P
Rob - huh? That's the "outfielder for a playoff team who people will care about"? A source, if you please?
2005-11-02 13:40:11
10.   domvjr
The source is They are reporting that Lawton was the player tested positive! I saw this on another sight. (Not computer literate enough to link the site.
2005-11-02 13:48:10
11.   wsporter
Newsday has picked up the Lawton story. Does this mean all the records he set this year are tainted?

Listening to the Press Conference at Fenway I was impressed by Mr. Henry's willingness to fall on his sword and tell everyone that "the buck stops here".

2005-11-02 13:48:26
12.   Jen is also talking about it.

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