Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-04-24 10:25
by Alex Belth


Here is an e-mail I got this morning from an old friend of mine, John Burdick, one of my creative writing professors when I was in college, who also happens to be a long-time Yankee fan:


From the AP:

"New York has outhomered opponents 43-5 -- hitting the most in the major leagues and allowing the fewest. The Yankees have as many homers as Detroit has runs."
Detroit is the new or posterboy for revenue sharing, now that KC is winning games and Montreal is not so bad at all.

In last night's romp, the Yankees left 27 men on base!

Now, you know I have my reservations about all of this. My team, right or wrong, of course, but I just don't enjoy it as much when they're payroll is 30M higher than the next closest, and when the only acceptable outcome is a championship, and even that is more a cause for relief than jubilation. Honestly, I wish I were a Royals fan right now. That would be fun. So I take to following individuals more than the team. Soriano looks to be rectifying the problem that kept him from winning the MVP last year, which is to say he didn't lead the league in *every* major offensive category. He looks a little bulkier to me this year, just a little.

Now, if you subtract the salaries of Jeter, Rivera, and Karsay, maybe their payroll looks more like the Mets'. Aw hell, subtract Giambi's too, as he's hardly been better than Rey Sanchez thus far. So no doubt, they are hot, *globally* hot, and it's not just money. But be still. It's a long season. Starters will slump and go down with injuries. The bullpen is suspect, but that doesn't show when the starters are going late and the offense is simply blowing everyone away.

The luxury is that just about the time Ventura, Posada, Matsui, and Mondesi start to decline, Giambi will be himself again and Jeter will be back. Bernie and Sori are the only others who need to be themselves all year all the time.

And correct me if I'm wrong, Alex, but isn't Bernie a traditionally slow starter, like a terribly slow starter? If so, damn, maybe this is HIS MVP year. Truthfully, I always thought he had an MVP in him, if he could stay healthy and play 145+ games.

BTW, I suppose you saw that my Orangemen won the national title? Nothing, no Yankee collapse or Laker triumph, can take the smile off my face this year. This was the most unlikely and most pleasant surprise of this fan's life.

Here is another e-mail I received today; this one is from reader, Steve Bonner:

Alex, First of all thanks for the great site and keep up the good work. I think the below quote, attributed to Rick Reed in Jim Caple's column this morning, sums up the Yankees perfectly:

"I'd like to give you my glove and and you go out there and try to pitch to that lineup,'' Reed told reporters after the game. "I'm thanking God we're in the Central and not the East. That's unbelievable. Un-be-lieveable.''


I want to thank all the readers who have sent me comments on the Buster Olney interview, and I especially want to thank my fellow bloggers (and Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus) for all the plugs and kind words. All of your support is more than somewhat appreciated.

ESPN has several good pieces on the Yankees today. Darren Rovell writes about the marketing of Godzilla Matsui, and Bob Klapisch reports on the Bombers hot start.

Jason Giambi, one of the few Yankees who is not on fire these days, told Klap:

"I can't even count how many times I've taken a walk with runners on first and second, just to load up the bases for Bernie," Giambi said. "To me, being disciplined at the plate, getting on base, scoring a lot of runs, it's the most important thing."

..."As soon as some of the other guys get cold, I'm going to get hot. And then Jeter is going to be back," Giambi said. "That's what a machine does -- it never stops. That's us. This could go on all year."

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