Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Monday Mush
2005-12-19 05:06
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Man, Monday mornings round this time of year seem to be the worst for baseball news. The papers are replete with football scores and basketball and hockey news. For a true baseball nyerd, you just pray there are some scraps for us. On my crowded subway ride into Manhattan this morning I saw an older Spanish man standing a few feet away, a rolled up newspaper in his back pocket. There was a photograph of a baseball player swinging a bat on back page of the paper. I couldn't tell who the player was (I could only see from the waist down), or what team he played for. But what did that matter? It was nice to see something, anything related to baseball. And it was a comfort to know that for some papers (i.e., the Latin ones), baseball is year-round back page news.

Today gives bubkus in New York, the bubkus being Nomar and the Dodgers, Paul Lo Duca and the Mets, and the Yankees' interest in taking a chance on injured relief pitcher Octavio Dotel.

2005-12-19 05:59:00
1.   rbj
At least the Giants won. That and scouring the transactions listings in the newspaper are the only things keeping me going until pitchers & catchers.
2005-12-19 07:05:55
2.   Sliced Bread
How many more snowballs must I pitch (from the stretch) into the side of my shed before the season begins again?

Yanks snubbed by Nomah. Whatevah. You knew he was going to stay in L.A. and play for the West Sox. What's next, Damon the Dodger? Followed by Roger the Dodger?

In case Yankee fans forgot, we're genetically wired/biologically predisposed to dislike the Dodgers, or at least regard them with hostile indifference. Nomar's Yankee snub is just a reminder.

And let this be a lesson to Joe "Reach Out And Touch" Torre, who is starting to look like the desperate but persistent geek who gets rejected by every chick he asks to the prom. Preserve the dignity of your office, Joe. Enough with the recruitment phone calls to the free agents. The Yanks don't need players who have to be flattered into coming to the Bronx by a phone call from the manager. Only call the players who you know want to be here.

2005-12-19 09:21:32
3.   JohnnyC
Maybe the organization (Torre included) should start to fully realize that, monies being equal, the Yankees have no cachet as a "winning" franchise that every player seeking a ring NEEDS to play for. In recent history (now going 5 years +), other teams can lay claim to that enticement with more validity (including the Red and White Sox). Face it, no one's going to jump over barricades to play in pinstripes for Joey Four Rings when the last time the Yankees won it all most of these guys were just a year out of Double A ball. Let's get real.
2005-12-19 09:47:26
4.   Ben
yeah, it seems like good sense for Torre to contact potential free-agents. But it's not the same news story it was when they had just won 3 in a row.

Good article on LoDuca in the Times today. paulie baseball indeed.

2005-12-19 10:56:03
5.   Zavo
I'm fine with the way this offseason has gone thus far and believe Cashman may have some tricks up his sleave, but MAN has it been boring up to this point.
2005-12-19 11:42:23
6.   kylepetterson
With his track record thus far, let's hope Mr. Torre has been calling Damon as much as possible.
2005-12-19 11:46:44
7.   joe in boston
You know what ? Once we make it through the holidays, "pitchers and catchers" are right around the corner. We'll make it !

BTW, I'm happy the Nomar drama is over. We didn't need that, yes there was some "upside", but we don't need the drama.

My $.02 on CF - play Bubba and see what happens. Johnny Damon 3 years ago would be nice: a banged up, too expensive Damon is not worth it !

2005-12-19 12:28:41
8.   unpopster
Zavo wrote: "I'm fine with the way this offseason has gone thus far and believe Cashman may have some tricks up his sleave, but MAN has it been boring up to this point."

I agree. And, in fact, I am pretty damn happy with the moves that Cashman has made/not made. Nomar would have been nice, but I'm really very content with our current state of the bullpen, the one MAJOR achilles heel of the 2005 Yanks (Do you all remember the complete lack of confidence we all had in that middle relief bunch?). The Yanks won 95 games, the shittiest bullpen of Torre's tenure not withstanding!

Cashman has picked up not one, but TWO good lefties, a power arm to stick in the 8th inning, and may very well pick up a little insurance in Dotel. Pencil in Small and/or Wright as the 6th inning/7th inning/long relief guy and it's pretty solid.

Sure it would have been nice to keep Gordon AND pick up Farnsworth, but we all know that would not have happened. So, instead we have a power righty 5+ years younger. And everyone agrees that Kyle has the arm for to dominate, we just don't know if he has the head.

I also wouldn't mind seeing Leiter decide to give it one more chance and let him battle it out in Spring Training.

And lastly, does anyone know if the Yanks offered arbitration to Mendoza and, did he take it and, does that mean he's on the 2006 squad?

2005-12-19 12:44:11
9.   Ben
nice sentiments unpopster. I get caught up in the fantasy-league kind of moves during the offseason, and forget that the Yanks were a very good team last year. They had an incohesive (is that a word) quality, but probably no more than earlier teams that won, and seemed more cohesive, well, because they won.

My biggest complaint with the team last year was that they failed in ways that even us fans were predicting. Just didn't seem smart. Seeing them make smart, market based moves hasn't been real splashy, but I'm starting to get the feeling that someone is steering the ship this year. That's worth a lot come crunch time.

2005-12-19 13:12:08
10.   yankee23
On CF, what about signing a likely non-tendered Corey Patterson to a minor league contract (or a cheap contract) and letting him at least compete for the starting job? He's a pretty good defensive centerfielder, and if Bubba's our man right now, not much is changing in the offensive production dept. And maybe we could nab Spivey if he's non-tendered as a Util guy.
2005-12-19 13:12:37
11.   ChuckM
Yes, they offered Mendoza arbitration-look to the right of this page...
2005-12-19 13:57:26
12.   Zavo

I pretty much agree with everything you said. I would rather see the Yanks make small "boring" moves that actually might help the team, than "flashy" moves that we all know aren't going to pan out.

I'm just really hoping there is no Damon signing. I am fine with Bubba to start the season if that means no Damon.

2005-12-19 14:46:03
13.   murphy
what? corey patterson?? yankee23 is talking my language.
2005-12-19 15:42:41
14.   BklynBomber
Of the pitching that's still out there, Dotel is definitely worth taking a flyer on. The incentive loaded deal he's smartly seeking would keep the bean counters happy and we may just catch lightning in a bottle.

And again, kudos to Cashman for avoiding the temptation to do something "big" (read: stupid).

2005-12-19 17:00:40
15.   sabernar
I'm all for signing Patterson to a minor-league deal, but you shouldn't think that he's going to be a great fielder in CF. The past two seasons he had a Rate of 101 and 100. Pretty average if you ask me. His career Rate is 96 (due to a horrendous 89 in 2002), but hopefully his 100 Rate is closer to his new norm. Unfortunately for Patterson, it's looking like his decent (actually, pretty average - OPS of .772) 2004 season is more a fluke then a norm. Hopefully we can grab him and I'm wrong and he can at least repeat his 2004 numbers. A clean slate will probably (hopefully) help him.
2005-12-19 17:13:29
16.   brockdc
I wonder if getting Patterson would be redundant. It seems that Bubba could probably put up similar numbers while playing slightly better defense. For Patterson to be much of an upgrade offensively, he needs to hit for a much higher average (very low OBP).

I'd much prefer they go after an OFer who can rotate with Sheff at RF and DH, such as Encarnacion or Jacque Jones.

2005-12-19 17:14:26
17.   rbj
An average CF is fine. I think we got slots 1-6 covered pretty well, I just want someone who can catch the ball, has good range, and isn't an embarrassment at the plate.
2005-12-19 18:22:39
18.   Levy2020
Unpopster, keep in mind there was talk we'd wind up with Gordon PLUS Wagner And/Or Ryan before those ridiculous contracts started coming out the wazoo.
2005-12-19 19:04:42
19.   singledd
JohnnyC.... while the Yankess don't carry the same allure they once did, we have what? 7 division tiles in a row? 2 WS appearances in the last 5 years? We still offer a 'fair' chance to be a winner to any player, especially one who has an impact.
2005-12-19 20:07:55
20.   yankz
I was looking up Matthews Jr. on baseball prospectus, and it says he posted a 184 Rate in left field in 04. Yikes. Do my eyes deceive me?

Anyway, it doesn't look like he's the answer; his center field stats are just below average I believe. Personally, I'm all for hopping on the Jeremy Reed bandwagon. And I still think Jacque Jones would be an excellent addition to RF to give Sheff a bunch of days as DH.

2005-12-19 22:17:50
22.   BklynBomber
From Rotoworld:


Outfielder Johnny Damon rejected the Red Sox' offer of arbitration.

Damon might have made $13 million or $14 million in 2005 if he went to arbitration, but he'd rather have the multiyear deal. Other than the Red Sox and Yankees, it's unclear if anyone is in the running for him.

Dec. 20 - 1:08 am et


I don't like the sound of this...

2005-12-19 22:31:31
23.   BklynBomber
More from Roto tonight:

• According to Newsday, the Yankees appeared close to an agreement with free agent Octavio Dotel before talks cooled tonight. Still, they likely lead the chase. The Mets, Indians, Rangers and Red Sox are also competing for Dotel, with a deal expected as early as Tuesday afternoon, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

• Yankees re-signed RHP Ramiro Mendoza to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

• Outfielder Bernie Williams and LHP Al Leiter declined the Yankees' offer of arbitration. As they and Ramiro Mendoza had agreed to do before the offer was extended. Williams is still expected back with the team on a one-year deal worth $2 million or so. It had appeared that Leiter would also return, but there's not going to be room for him following the Ron Villone addition.

Also —

Apologies if this has been posted before, but:

Bat Day at Yankee Stadium

2005-12-20 20:38:23
24.   Kevin
Ahhh, Nutz. They up and signed Damon.
2005-12-20 21:58:42
25.   joejoejoe
So ends the Bubba Crosby era. I would have preferred going after Vernon Wells next year but I guess that's why Cashman makes the big bucks and I comment on blogs. Maybe Wells or Andruw Jones are still in future plans and Damon is slated to slide to LF in 2007?

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