Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-04-18 07:20
by Alex Belth


Here is a letter I recieved this morning from Harley, a loyal reader of Bronx Banter, responding to my column yesterday about the Yankees' suspect defense:

ALEX: I understand why one might suspect that 'shoddy defense' will bring the Yankees back to earth in the near or sorta near future. But then again: this assumes Soriano is incapable of improvement (something the first month of the season belies), that Posada will never figure out how to block the plate (okay, that's probably a lock), that Matsui will falter in left (haven't seen it so far), that Bernie will continue to decline (who cares! he's hitting the cover off the ball!!), and so on. Or look at it this way, because nothing really matters unless it is examined in the context of the Red Sox. The Yankees have superior gloves at two of three outfield positions (I'm giving Damon the nod, but not by as much as you think). It's a wash at third, but you could give it to Ventura because Shea's got hands of stone. Okay, Nomar, but he's made more errors in the playoffs per game than Derek ever did. The difference at second is insignificant because Soriano's athleticism will carry the day. And the Giambi/Johnson hybrid is just fine by me. The latter is not a detailed sabermetric analysis, but then again, the Numbers Boys are to baseball as Milton Friedman is to economics. It all
looks great in the abstract. But in the real world? Governments collapse, the Red Sox fall.

Cheers. HARLEY.

PS Just mortgaged the house to pick up two second row seats behind the Yankee dugout in Anaheim. God help me -- and them -- if those morons are still bashing plastic tubes together.

I should put Harley in touch with my boy Greg G, a native New Yorker now living in Venice, who has made a cottage industry out of terrozing the Southern California locals at Angels games. You take the lout out of the Bronx, but you can't take the Bronx out of the lout. Ya heard?

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