Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Meat Market
2005-11-30 09:56
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees are close to signing Kyle Farnsworth to a three-year deal worth more than $17 million. Last season Cliff and I agreed that "Meat" was a fitting nickname for Carl Pavano, but if the Yanks ink Farnsworth, Pavano will face some stiff competition for the moniker. They have different builds--Farnsworth is sculpted and looks as if he just stepped out of a comic book, and I'm willing to bet that ol' Kyle is a good deal dimmer than Carl. At least we know he's effective in a brawl. Farnsworth is the proto-typical "million dollar arm, ten cent head" Nuke Laloosh hurler. Perhaps he's better than I give him credit for, and maybe he'll be as good if not better than Flash Gordon, but I'm still cautious. He does throw gas, and has a nasty breaking ball, but there is something about the guy I just don't trust. This might not be fair, but the sports radio caller in me is thinking Benitez-lite (and Armando is good, just dubious in big spots). Oh, well. I don't have to like the guy. Hopefully, I'm wrong and he'll be a success if he comes to town.

2005-11-30 10:16:10
1.   Dimelo
Though you have to love this Quantrill type of quote from Farnsworth:
"That's the way it is," said Farnsworth."The only person that should have been thrown out is (Jose) Guillen. He was running his mouth and grabbed me from behind. Anytime he wants to charge, he's welcome too."
2005-11-30 10:18:29
2.   wsporter
Alex, maybe he'll be able to let it go nice and easy if he knows he's got Mo behind him. Sandman gives him a good reason not to squeeze the seams so tight. He sure has some red ass about him though.
2005-11-30 10:20:17
3.   Dimelo
BTW, seem like Rosenthal is getting to be the next successor of Peter Gammons. "According to Gammons/Rosenthal", I wonder if writers are awarded bonus money for writing about speculation and what some janitor at some ball club might've told them?
2005-11-30 10:27:16
4.   pistolpete
What I want to know is - if Hoffman's available, why would the Phillies waste their time with Gordon?
2005-11-30 10:39:24
5.   jdsarduy
Maybe we can use Kyle to body slam Pedro, heck he weighs 100 pounds less than Paul Wilson. And also maybe Kyle can straighten out David Ortiz's back with a hello pitch.
That Ortiz home run crouch is getting on my nerves.

But if the Yanks sign Kyle, Gordon and a lefty, that bullpen will be mighty crowded.
If they do this I'm almost sure a trade will happen, Pavano anyone? please!

2005-11-30 10:51:37
6.   Ben
Is Farnsworth Steve Karsay in disguise?
2005-11-30 10:53:20
7.   YankeeInMichigan
"Maybe he'll be as good if not better than Flash Gordon...." He's 8 years better. The comparison with Benitez does not seem to fit, as Benitez has been prone to fits of extreme wildness (at least against the Yankees), while Farnsworth has not shown such a tendency. Farnsworth pitching in a Braves uniform, however, conjures up images of John Rocker.

I just saw the report on Kelly Stinnett. He is a similar hitter to Flaherty and two years younger, so at worst, he will give a Flaherty 2004 contribution. Okay as a stopgap, but the Yankees should still be persuing a young "apprentice" to be Posada's heir.

2005-11-30 10:58:08
8.   walein
Farnsworth is the "million dollar arm, ten cent head" guy. He can hit 100 sometimes and throw a breaking ball that'll make your knees hurt at home but when he gets hit or doesn't have "his stuff" he is more brutal to watch than Felix Heredia wearing a blindfold and throwing right handed.
2005-11-30 11:00:44
9.   Alex Belth
I got an e-mail from Derek Smart who writes the Cub Town blog. Read it and weep, guys:

"So, if you guys do get Farnsworth, I think you'll discover that shelling out 10 cents for his noggin is likely to be about a ten-fold overpayment in an inflated market for heads. His arm's fantastic, though, which is where the frustration comes in. You just know he could be so much better than he is, but there's something about him that won't let him get there. It's truly maddening.

I know you'll want to come up with your own nicknames, but the ones he received while a Cub were interesting, and at times, a little more descriptive than one might desire. A small sampling:

Dr. Tightpants - this seemed to be a favorite among Cub bloggers

The Sperminator - his post-game activities around Wrigley were the stuff of legends

Dutch Boy - this one's mine, and it's a reach - it's a riff on Dr. Tightpants, supposed to imply that his trousers were painted on. Of course, it takes way too much mental work to get there.

My understanding is that he's less inclined to go nuts on the sauce and chicks circuit, but unfortunately, I don't think that makes him any brighter.

Good luck with him, fellas, and I hope he doesn't make you too nuts."

2005-11-30 11:14:38
10.   wsporter
Dr. Tightpants? Wow, I guess we Rhodes Scholars will have some fun with this. We few, we happy few...
2005-11-30 11:48:33
11.   pistolpete
I get the feeling any issues he has can be dealt with by our new 3rd base coach...
2005-11-30 11:55:09
12.   wsporter
Pistol, I hadn't thought of that, Dr. TP and Larry Low Pressure, the badest 3b coach in captivity. Oh my God, that will be something for the ages. There won't be an electric fan left alive in the Bronx.
2005-11-30 11:55:48
13.   jonm
Well, at the very least, he should be entertaining...
2005-11-30 11:55:54
14.   rbj
#5, My thinking. Let Farns-not-worth-it (here's hoping I'm wrong) be the "wild" head/body hunter against the Sox. When any of them charge the mound, Kyle takes care of it himself and gets a nice 4-5 day rest.
2005-11-30 12:01:48
15.   pistolpete
rbj - this will certainly prevent Torre overusing him!
2005-11-30 12:07:36
16.   Ben
I was just thinking about the Mets signing Wagner, spenind all that money, and how much the Yanks payroll is, etc. And it occurred to me that there are only two positions that qualify paying out the nose. That's a lights out starting pitcher, or closer. Even good pitchers are seemingly a dime a dozen, depending on the year and other stuff. And offensively, as we saw with Arod down in Texas, even if a guy mashes up to expectations, there are a lot of mitigating factors into turning that into wins. But a guy you know will be strong every fifth day, or shut it down after the eighth ining, that's a guy worth more than market value. That pays dividends across the psychology of the whole team.

I don't think I've nailed my sentiment here, but there's an apparent difference between the singular greatness of a player and the collective greatness he brings to a team. The White Sox and the Astros had payrolls of about 75 million last year. Doesn't it seem like the Yankees, in a stricly baseball sense and excluding all the tv and international ties-ins they cultivate, well aren't they wasting a lot of money?

2005-11-30 12:15:53
17.   Upperdeck
Farnsworth and Sturtze would make a nice tag team for any bench clearing brawls.
2005-11-30 12:25:06
18.   debris

Are the Yanks wasting a lot of money? Probably no more than they can afford.

I question overspending for a closer. The Blue Jays just spent approximately 10% of their total payroll for a guy who's going to pitch about 75 innings. Forget that he's BJ Ryan. Even if he were Rollie Fingers, can you really justify spending that much of your total kitty on that little production?

2005-11-30 12:41:38
19.   walein
I guess the positive about having Farnsworth is that he would out bully Veritek when he tries to suckerpunch players who have no one else on the field to back them.
2005-11-30 12:47:34
20.   wsporter
Ben: At #16 are you saying that what certain quality players bring provides a different or higher level of "synergy" to a team than quality players at a different position? I think that's right and I think that's why the numbers don't tell everything. It's why for example Jeter brings more than his OPS or Runs Created or Range Factor. I hate the term, "he's a winner" but I guess some guys just bring more with them than can be measured and what they bring, depending on their position, may have a greater chance to positively affect the collective "mix".
2005-11-30 13:58:01
21.   Dimelo
#16 & #20, I definitely agree with what you are both saying about certain players bring something more than what you see on the field. I know in the team sports I've played (mostly organized), losing a player that was a leader -- not necessarily the most talented -- hurt us more than losing the most talented player. It's the hardest thing to measure. There are certain people that inspire you and you know what they are bringing to the table so you feed off that energy. I felt that Harry Carson of the NY Giants was one of those players. Oakley with the Knicks. I never thought of Paul O'Neil as that type of player, I saw him more as a hard worker that made the sum of all the parts work just right. I feel Jeter is one of those players that brings that something special to the team. Likewise with David Ortiz on the Sawx. Again, this stuff is so hard to actually measure or even prove but you know where I'm coming from.
2005-11-30 13:59:59
22.   Alex Belth
Yo, I hate to be a bummer, but the more I think about that dumbass Farnsworth the more depressed I'm getting.
2005-11-30 14:10:17
23.   Marcus
Yeah Alex, I agree. You just don't hear many happy-endings coming from overpaid middle relief free agents. I know the Yankees don't have many options, but Farnsworth is one big, expensive question mark.

I have a good friend who is a Cubs fan and he used to complain about Farnsworth all the time, saying the same basic thing as Derek Smart.

2005-11-30 14:33:50
24.   Dimelo
Alex, What better options are available then? BJ Ryan was suppose to be a Yankee but the Yanks didn't meet his needs. Howry, Eyre, and Wagner went elsewhere, the Yanks really aren't left with many other choices. I'd rather have a pen of Mo, Farnsworth, Looper/Gordon, Myers/Rincon, Sturtze than Mo, Ryan, and Sturtze. Quite frankly, I don't think we could have afforded another reliever after the Yanks paid BJ -- if we had gotten him.
2005-11-30 14:44:28
25.   Upperdeck
I'm with Alex. Kyle seems like a mistake. There's gotta be a better way to build a bullpen. Trying to buy closers to come here and set up isn't going to work. And who in their right mind would want to come here with the promise that they'll eventually replace Mo? Talk about a no-win situation.
2005-11-30 14:51:53
26.   Nick from Washington Heights
I'm not too thrilled about the signing, but I think Dimelo's right. There aren't many other choices, and, at the very least, he has a great k rate and tons of upside. At least, the Yanks didn't pull an Eyre signing, which seems to me a much more unreasonable contract. Also, it doesn't seem as if this move precludes them from signing Flash.

I wonder why there's no word about Dotel. I think it would be worth taking a shot on him, given his expected cheapness and his tremendous upside. I'd be psyched if the bullpen next year was Mo, Flash, Tight Pants, Token Lefty (Mike Myers), The Pride of Worcester, and Paz (Dotel).

2005-11-30 15:04:11
27.   debris

These games were on consecutive nights last May. And then he had arm surgery. You really don't want Dotel.

2005-11-30 15:07:35
28.   Nick from Washington Heights
2 games does not a pitcher make. I like his career line of 725 k's in 600 innings. Plus, he'll be cheap. He won't have to close the door on the sox with the yanks. Just get it to Mo.
2005-11-30 15:23:55
29.   YankeeInMichigan
I don't quite get all the negativity. There's not too much not to like about Farnsworth -- except for Farnsworth. He's not quite 30, and he has no history of arm trouble (a la Karsay) or wildness (a la Benitez). His up-side is as good as Wagner or Ryan (minus the lefty orientation) and his price is much better. Three years of Farnsworth is a much safer bet than two of Gordon.
2005-11-30 15:24:49
30.   Start Spreading the News
We are now in the Kelly Stinnett era of Yankee History.
2005-11-30 16:30:10
31.   sabernar
I agree with #29. So he's not the greatest guy in the world. He had a great 2005, and ok 2004 and a very good 2003. He's not 38 like some other relievers out there, and he's been healthy. And he never choked his wife.

I'll be happy if he comes to the Yankees.

2005-11-30 16:39:48
32.   dan the fan
I'm a cub fan in washington heights, so um, hey nick.
I echo the sentiments of Derek Smart.
Farsworth is one of the more frustrating players you'll ever come across. He ranges from unhittable to unbearable.
You'd be hard pressed to come up with many pitchers with better raw stuff, esp. in terms of a nasty slider/fastball combination. Lidge, K-Rod, Gagne, and Kerry Wood are the ony ones that come to mind.
But Farsworth has just never been reliable.
I've seen him just embarrass the best hitters in the league, and I've also been at wrigley field and seen him give up 7 runs in an inning. That was the game he threw his mitt at the fans and effectively ended his relationship with the Cubs.
I thought he had turned a corner under Leo Mazzone last year. He looked like he was taking a little bit of gas off and attacking the strike zone more, you know, actually pitching. But as we all know, things didn't work out so well for him in the playoffs, and he seemed to regress to the Dr. Tightpants we Cub fans know all too well.
I wish him the best in the Bronx, though I think that it's probably the worst possible place for him.
2005-11-30 17:21:50
33.   simonelee
Hi Alex

in a post you made about the red sox winning from 2004 you mention a Mary Lou Leddon, who died of brain and lung cancer. I had a friend with this name, from Boston... was your Mary Lou a former actress turned social worker who lived on the Lower East Side and often took kids in her build to the beach and other stuff... then she lived in the East Village? Could you email me at We lost touch aroung 1997.

Thanks, Janet

2005-11-30 18:16:48
34.   wsporter
I've watched Farnsworth a bit over the last few years, we get a lot of Cubs and Braves games here. I wouldn't worry too much. Maybe its because I haven't had a rooting interest but he seemed to be pretty much what the doctor ordered. He's not perfect and he may not be a rocket scientist but who the hell is. No one looks very comfortable in the box with this guy; maybe it's the screw loose thing, maybe it's the stuff. I mentioned Gossage yesterday, I won't say this guy is the second coming because he's not but you see a lot of batters with the same happy feet when Farnsworth is pitching. He made our guys look pretty ill back in 2003 as I recall. He's not the final answer but he'll do as a piece of the puzzle. Who the hell knows what happens when that Cub uniform goes on anyway. God bless those people, for the life of me I don't know how they keep rooting. Dan you guys are a true testament to the beauty of the human spirit.
2005-11-30 18:43:44
35.   simonelee
Hi Alex that email is or if you prefer just post here

thanks, janet

2005-11-30 19:33:12
36.   joejoejoe
OT: Giles is staying with the Padres. 3yrs/$30M with a $6M option in year 4.

2005-12-01 04:29:52
37.   debris
The irony in the Farnsworth signing is that it probably pushes Tom Gordon in to the $8-9 million range. Will the Yanks go that far for a set-up guy?

If Howry is worth $4 M...
If Farnsworth is worth $6 M...
If Ryan is worth $9 M...
If Wagner is worth $10 M...

...what is Flash Gordon worth? As a set-up in the Bronx? As a closer in Philly?

2005-12-01 05:09:32
38.   Dimelo
WasWatching probably responded to what he read here.

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